Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Low-Point Candy Cane Kisses

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More holiday baking fun! Just put on some Christmas music, fix yourself a nice hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and let the baking begin!!!

Low-Point Candy Cane Kisses

Ingredients:

- 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups Splenda
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Red and Green decorative sugar
- Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap kisses and set aside. Cream butter and Splenda, then add eggs and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Shape balls into about 1-inch balls. Roll in colored sugar and place on cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes, remove and place Hershey kiss on top of cookie, pressing down slightly. Let cool and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - about 56
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 2
Points plus per serving - 2

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Low-Point Holiday Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry sauce is a staple at my house whenever we enjoy any holiday meal.  I'm sorry to say I've always bought canned cranberry sauce in the past; but I did go out of my way to buy two kinds... whole and jellied. I thought several times about making my own, but placing two cans in the shopping cart seemed much easier. Until now. There are a lot of complex recipes for cranberry sauce; so you don't have to worry about finding those kinds of recipes on this blog. This very easy, healthy, fresh, and extremely low-point recipe will hopefully make you never want to buy canned again.

Low-Point Holiday Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Splenda (plus 1 Tbs extra if needed)
- 1/8 to a 1/4 tsp. all spice
- 1, 12 oz package of fresh cranberries

Heat orange juice, water, Splenda, and all spice in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat until it starts to boil. Reduce heat and add cranberries. Cover and let cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 1 1/2 cups
Serving size - 1/2 cup
Points per serving - 1
Points plus per serving - .5


"Cranberry sauce is a wonderful part of the holiday season... unless you have cookies." - Anonymous 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Low-Point Chicken and Chorizo Stew

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Perfect for these cold fall days, this chicken and chorizo stew has a hearty taste with a little kick. At only 3.3 points per cup (3.7 points plus per cup), you can enjoy a bowl, or two, of this stew guilt free!

Low-Point Chicken and Chorizo Stew

Ingredients:

- 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh parsley (just remove long stems but you don't have to chop up)
- 3 garlic cloves (left whole)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2, 6 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 Tbs "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"
- 2 links of Hot Mexican Chorizo, (about 6 ounces)
- 3 cups cubed red potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 Tbs minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs flour
- 2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

In a large saucepan or stock pot, combine the first 6 ingredients over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let cook for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, remove casing from chorizo and set aside. In a large bowl, add potatoes, onion, red pepper, garlic, cumin, and salt. Set aside. Remove chicken from saucepan and let cool. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve over a bowl; discarding solids except for the carrots. Wipe saucepan with a paper towel, return to heat and add butter and chorizo. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, chopping the chorizo into pieces. Add the bowl of potatoes and onion mixture to the chorizo and sauté for 8 minutes. Return cooking liquid (broth) and carrots to the saucepan and let cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add shredded chicken and cook for 5 more minutes. (If the stew looks more like a soup, remove about 2 cups of the liquid broth. Combine 2 Tbs flour to a jar with a lid, add a little water and shake vigorously. Stir flour mixture into saucepan to thicken the liquid. Ladle stew into bowls and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of the recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 7 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 3.3
Points plus per serving - 3.7


"Never take anyone's feelings for granted. You never know what courage it took to show them to you." - Anonymous

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Low-Point Seasoned Scallops with Quinoa

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Seasoned to perfection! These beautifully sauteed scallops are very tasty and very low point. Enjoy with *quinoa, rice, veggies, or with a healthy side salad.

Low-Point Seasoned Scallops with Quinoa

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. wild caught sea scallops 
- 2 Tbs butter
- 3 Tbs flour
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- *Quinoa
- Almonds, chopped (optional)

Cook quinoa according to directions. Rinse and pat dry the scallops. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. On a plate, combine flour, thyme, oregano, and salt. Roll scallops in flour mixture and add to skillet. Brown for 3 minutes on each side. Remove and enjoy! Sprinkle a few almonds on top to add texture. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

*Quinoa is an ancient grain from South America. It has a mild, slightly nutty flavor similar to couscous. Use in place of rice in soups and side dishes. Quinoa also makes a great hot breakfast cereal.

Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1 (3 scallops)
Points per serving - 2.5 - (Points per serving on 1/4 cup cooked quinoa- 5.6)
Points plus per serving - 3 - (Points plus per serving on 1/4 cup cooked quinoa - 6.8)


"Where there is love, there is life." - Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Life's Lessons Through Frozen Yogurt Pie

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A few weeks ago, somebody asked me a question that really got me to thinking. We were talking about the hospice patient I visit and they asked me if I thought "hospice has changed me."

I've been visiting a hospice patient for six months now. When I first started visiting with him, although he wasn't able to talk or show emotion, he was still able to shuffle around slowly with his walker, feed himself, and change the channels on the TV remote control (over and over and over). When asked a question, he could give me a thumbs up or down for "yes" or "no". Once I took him a frozen strawberry jello yogurt pie. After taking a few bites, he turned to me and gave me a thumbs up. That thumbs up got him a pie, every single week, after that. Whenever I walked in, his wife would turn to him smiling and say, "Oh look, it's your girlfriend who brings you your favorite pies."

Since my patient can't verbally communicate, I fill our visits with information about my family, the weather, how wonderful his yard looks all of the time, and how much I enjoy visiting with him. I even give him permission to give me a "thumbs up" if he would prefer to eat in silence. But he never does. He listens intently as he takes another bite of pie.

Lately, my visits have changed. I still ramble on about things I'm just sure he's interested in (or so I'd like to think) but I no longer get any thumbs up or down. He hasn't been able to "walk around the block" with his walker (which is what his wife and I call walking the circle through the kitchen, dining room, to the living room) and he can no longer feed himself. Most of the time he sleeps and even when I raise his bed to the sit position to feed him, he keeps his eyes closed... until I put a bite of strawberry pie in his mouth. Only then will he open his eyes and look at me, possibly putting together this is the "girl" who brings the pies.

I finish each visit by patting his hand telling him I love our visits and how precious he is to me. At my last visit, I told him this Thanksgiving I will be thanking God for the blessing he has been to me.

His saintly, loyal, and most wonderful wife called me today to tell me he is now in heaven. The tearful conversation was of sadness and joy, of heartache and praise. You grow so much being a hospice volunteer. You learn so much being a hospice volunteer, and if you allow yourself to go through the entire process with the family, you find it does actually change you; and for that, I am truly  grateful.

His entire family was there, reluctant to let him go, but lovingly assuring him they will be ok. It was that loving act of letting him go, that will now allow him to truly live. Before we hung up, his wife wanted to let me know they celebrated his life by enjoying a piece of his frozen strawberry jello yogurt pie that his girlfriend brought over just a few days before.

"You're stronger than you think. Go out and do good. 
Be a part of something beautiful." †

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Low-Point Pumpkin Mousse

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No cooking and no baking ... already a reason to give thanks! A Thanksgiving dessert you can make in just a few minutes! Light and fluffy and full of flavor, a dessert your family will love!


Low-Point Pumpkin Mousse

Ingredients:

- 3 Tbs "Limited Edition" Pumpkin Spice Philadelphia cream cheese (if you can't find this flavor of cream cheese you can also use 3 Tbs of 1/3 Fat Philadelphia cream cheese with 1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice)
- 1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin (from a can)
- 1 Tbs Splenda
- 1/2 cup Cool Whip Lite
- 5, Keebler Ready Crust Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts
- Additional cool whip for topping
- Ground cinnamon for topping

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin, and Splenda until blended. Fold in cool whip. Fill mini pie crusts with pumpkin mixture and top with 1 Tbs cool whip lite and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 5
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 4.2
Points plus per serving - 4.5


"I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health." - Voltaire

Monday, November 12, 2012

Low-Point Curried Mustard Chicken

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I'm a big fan of curry, so when I came up with this recipe I was eager to taste the finished product... and I am going to have to give myself a hand. :) The perfect mixture of ground mustard seeds, curry powder, and honey; this succulent dish will please your palate and leave you feeling completely satisfied!

Low-Point Curried Mustard Chicken

Ingredients:

- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 4, 4 oz. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth 
- 1/2 tsp. ground mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. curry powder
- 1 Tbs honey
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1, 8.8 oz. package Uncle Ben's Roasted Chicken Ready Rice

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper (to taste). Brown chicken on both sides for several minutes. In a bowl, combine chicken broth, mustard seeds, curry powder and honey. Whisk in corn starch. Pour mixture over chicken, turn down heat to medium and cover for 10 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink in the center). Prepare rice according to instructions on bag. Remove chicken from skillet, leaving chicken broth mixture. Add rice to skillet and mix with broth. Spoon 1/2 cup rice onto a plate and add 4 oz. chicken. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4
Serving size - 4 oz. chicken with 1/2 cup rice mixture
Points per serving - 7.5
Points plus per serving - 8.5

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Low-Point Cream Cheese Sundaes

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Perfect! Sundaes you can eat not only during the heat of the summer, but enjoy throughout the winter months as well! At one point per sundae, choose strawberry or caramel and indulge in this delightful dessert.

Low-Point Cream Cheese Sundaes

Ingredients:
 - 30 Mini Fillo Shells
- 1, 8 oz. package 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Smucker's fat-free caramel sundae syrup (on each fillo shell) 
or 
1/4 tsp. Smucker's "Simply Fruit" Strawberry spreadable fruit (on each fillo shell)

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fill 30 mini fillo shells with cream cheese mixture and top with 1/4 tsp. caramel syrup or strawberry spreadable fruit. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 30 
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 1

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow." 
- Anonymous

Monday, October 15, 2012

Enjoying Your Garden Basil All Winter Long

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 I love basil! So much so that just tonight I told my husband if Yankee Candle came out with a basil-scented candle, I'd buy it. To me, there's nothing like the smell of fresh basil. 

Knowing that colder temperatures will soon be upon us, the thought of my healthy and bountiful basil dying outside makes me almost as sad as hearing we're out of coffee! I definitely wanted to find a way to preserve my basil so I can use it all throughout the winter months in soups, stews, sautés, and my favorite, "pesto"!  I didn't harvest all of the basil just yet, because I still love using the fresh leaves in a lot of my recipes; so soon, I will be moving my basil indoors. 

Tonight I harvested and preserved about 8 cups of fresh basil leaves, and it's one of the easiest things I've ever done. It would have been about 10 cups of fresh basil but I couldn't do anything without first making up a batch of one of my favorite appetizers ever... BRUSCHETTA! It's really more of an entree for me since I eat so much of it.


Getting back to preserving basil, there are several ways to accomplish this. The method I used was adding the 8 cups of leaves (stems removed) into a food processor and pulsing the basil while drizzling about 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into the mixture. Without the olive oil, the basil leaves will blacken in the freezer. After pulsing the leaves until all the oil is combined throughout, place the mixture into a gallon-sized freezer bag, sealing the bag while pushing out as much of the air as you can. Flatten the mixture to fit about 1/3 of the bag -- into a rectangular shape.


The best part about preserving the basil leaves this way is once the mixture is frozen, you can break or cut off any amount you desire to be added to your favorite recipes. The basil will last up to 6 months in the freezer. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Low-Point Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Broccoli

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Now we're talkin'! Macaroni and cheese with bacon even makes the broccoli taste wonderful in this amazing entree. A great way to add some veggies to your child's favorite meal. :)

Low-Point Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Broccoli

Ingredients:
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 12 oz. bag Green Giant fresh broccoli florets (steam right in bag)
- 8 oz. uncooked rigatoni
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 1/4 cups 1% milk
- 1 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 3 slices 2% American Cheese
- 1/4 cup diced green onions
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cook bacon until crisp; cool, crumble, and set aside. Steam broccoli 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, drain if needed, and set aside. Cook pasta in boiling water in a large saucepan over medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm in a separate dish. Return pan to heat and melt butter in the pan, add milk, and sprinkle in flour whisking until slightly thick (about one minute). Remove from heat and add cheese slices; stirring until smooth. Stir in diced green onions, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Add broccoli, pasta, and bacon to pan and combine thoroughly, serve immediately, and enjoy fully! :) If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 9 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 3.5


"Sometimes you'll never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory." - Anonymous

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Beer-Braised Kielbasa with Seasoned Kale

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Made with turkey kielbasa, this entrée also includes chia seeds, which have an extraordinary range of health benefits. Containing 6 times more calcium than milk, 6 times more iron than spinach, and a plethora of other vital healthy benefits, chia seeds are a great addition to almost any meal, drink, and even dessert!

Ingredients:

- 7 oz. Jennie-O Hardwood Smoked Turkey Kielbasa, sliced
- 1/3 cup diced onions
- 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
- 3 oz. of good pilsner beer
- Approximately 1/2 pound kale (trimmed so the ribs are removed)
- 1 Tbs White Chia Seeds, optional
- Pam cooking spray with olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Spray a large skillet with a generous amount of Pam cooking spray with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add kielbasa slices when skillet is good and hot. Let the kielbasa brown on one side (about 3 to 4 minutes) and turn over. Add onions and garlic and let brown on the other side. Reduce heat and add beer, kale, and chia seeds. You may need to spray more cooking spray on kale. Cover and let cook 6 to 8 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring several times. Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.



"Positive thinking is not about expecting the best to happen every time, but accepting whatever happens is the best for this moment." 
- Anonymous



Monday, September 17, 2012

Low-Point White Bean Chicken Chili

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Here comes autumn! With the cool, crisp days approaching, soups, stews, and chilis are on a lot of people's menus. Here is a great white bean creamy chicken chili recipe to kick off fall! Enjoy!!

Low-Point White Bean Chicken Chili
Ingredients:
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup Rotel sauce
- 1 Tbs minced green chiles
- 1 cup 100% fat-free chicken broth
- 1, 15.5 oz. can Great Northern Beans
- 1, 10 3/4 oz. cream of chicken soup
- 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- salt to taste (optional)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breast in a baking dish and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. (Chicken may not be all the way done but will finish cooking in the skillet). Remove, let cool slightly, and cut chicken into little bite-sized pieces. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and carrots and saute' for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken, tomatoes, Rotel sauce, green chiles, and chicken broth. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer until heated thoroughly. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


Total servings - 5 1/2 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 4


"The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend." 
- Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Low-Point Baked Haddock with Sautéed Bacon Brussels Sprouts

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It is nice to create a delicious entree that completely fills you up for only five points! This perfectly baked fish with succulent sautéed brussels sprouts has your mouth watering before taking one bite. Healthy, savory, and fulfilling... something you're sure to enjoy!

Low-Point Baked Haddock with Sautéed Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
- 4, 4 oz. skinless, Haddock filets
- Salt-free lemon and pepper seasoning (I used McCormick)
- Fresh basil, chopped
- 3 strips of bacon
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 Tbs onion, diced
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts
- 1 Tbs plus 2 tsp. olive oil (divided)
- salt and pepper

Preheat oven or grill to 400 degrees. Place one fish filet on a separate piece of aluminum foil. Season each with the lemon and pepper seasoning, add 1/2 tsp. of olive oil on each fish, and sprinkle with fresh basil. Wrap fish in foil and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, turning over once after 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in a skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to plate, leaving hot bacon grease in skillet. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots to skillet and sauté for 2 minutes before adding brussels sprouts, 1 Tbs olive oil, salt and pepper, and crumbled bacon strips. Turn heat to low and cover, stirring frequently until brussels sprouts are tender but not mushy. Dish one cup of brussels sprout sauté to plate and place one piece of fish on top. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1, 4 oz. fish with 1 cup brussels sprout sauté
Points per serving - 5


"Faith is knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof." 
- Khalil Gibran 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Low-Point Tomato and Avocado Stack Salad

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Fresh, light, filling, and as always, scrumptious!! A terrifically tasty meal you can feel good about!

Low-Point Tomato and Avocado Stack Salad
Ingredients:
- 1 slice bacon
- 1/2 to 1 Tbs fresh chopped chives
- 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbs low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing
- 1 Tbs. fat-free crumbled feta cheese
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 ear corn on the cob (prepared)
- 1 Tbs olive oil

Cook bacon until tender/crisp. Combine chives, basil, mayo, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, ranch dressing, and feta cheese. Slice tomatoes and avocado and alternate layers on two plates. Drizzle 1/2 Tbs olive oil over each tomato stack. Cut corn kernels off of cob and scatter evenly on plates and on top of tomato salad. Spoon ranch dressing mixture evenly on top of each tomato and avocado stack. Crumble bacon and sprinkle on each salad, garnish with fresh basil leaves and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 2
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5


"It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish." - Steve Maraboli

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Low-Point Watermelon Caprese Salad

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Light, refreshing, and full of flavor -- this watermelon caprese salad has the right mix of sweet and sour. With fresh watermelon, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, it's a unique twist on a summer salad that will have you going back for more.

Low-Point Watermelon Caprese Salad
Ingredients:
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 6 small fresh mozzarella balls (such as Bel Gioioso); or 2 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tbs diced onion
- 1/2 cup, packed, fresh basil - chopped
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 small pink packet of Sweet-n-Low sugar substitute (or 1/2 Tbs Splenda)
- 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon zest
- juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon

Combine the tomatoes, watermelon, mozzarella, and a little bit of salt and pepper in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix onion, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Sweet-n-Low, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Drizzle over tomato mixture and combine gently until thoroughly saturated. Drain a little bit of the excess balsamic mixture. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 7 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 2


"Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to none." - William Shakespeare

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Taco Bites

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Watch out, they'll be gone in a flash! These delicious, easy-to-make taco bites are the perfect appetizer for any occasion. Tostitos' Scoops filled with refried beans, guacamole, shredded cheese and a dot of sour cream. A one-bite sensation and must-try recipe!


Ingredients:

- 40 Tostitos' Scoops
1, 16 oz. can fat-free El Paso Refried Beans (save the leftover for another recipe or more taco bites)
- Reduced-fat Mexican style four-cheese blend shredded cheese
- 2, medium, ripe (slightly softened) avocados
- 1, 1 oz. packet Guacamole seasoning mix
- Light sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan with aluminum foil. Place Tostitos' Scoops on baking sheet and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of refried beans into the center of each scoop. Sprinkle just a pinch of shredded cheese on each scoop and place in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese starts to melt. Meanwhile, peel and remove seeds from avocados. Mash avocados and stir in guacamole seasoning mix. Stir until well combined. Remove baking sheet from the oven and place 1/2 teaspoon of guacamole mix on top of refried beans and cheese. Dot taco bites with about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sour cream and insert into mouth! Enjoy!!! :) If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.




"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient for living." - Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Low-Point Baked Swai with Homemade Pesto

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A well-seasoned baked fish is very healthy and delicious; but add homemade basil pesto and you have an unforgettable dinner you'll be anxious to have again! :)

Low-Point Baked Swai with Homemade Pesto
Ingredients:
- 5, 4 oz. Swai (white fish)
- Goya Adobo seasoning and pepper (to taste)

Basil Pesto
Ingredients:
- 3 cups, packed, fresh basil (leaves only)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 Tbs water
- salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season Swai with pepper and Adobo seasoning. Line glass pan with Swai and bake for 15 min. (or until desired doneness). Meanwhile, add basil and pine nuts to a food processor and pulse until basil is chopped fine. Add garlic, cheese, and olive oil and pulse until all combined. Drizzle in water and add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse a few times more to ensure all is combined well. Remove Swai from oven and enjoy with this delicious rich and thick pesto. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 5
Serving size - 1, 4 oz. Swai with 1 Tbs pesto
Points per serving - 3.5

"Nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you." - Anonymous

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Low-Point Chicken Legs with Root Beer BBQ Sauce

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Root beer? What?? Imagine the taste of sweet sassafras or fresh anise in a barbecue sauce with just enough kick to make it even more interesting. Thickened slightly to coat these tender chicken legs, this sauce has a fresh taste that will delight your palate and leave you wanting more. Give it a try!

Low-Point Chicken Legs with Root Beer BBQ Sauce
Ingredients:
- 5, boneless, skinless chicken legs
- 1/2 cup ketchup (no-salt if you can find)
- 1 cup root beer
- 1/2 tsp. creole seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt or coarse salt
- 2 Tbs flour

Place chicken legs into a crock pot. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, root beer, creole seasoning, and salt. Pour over chicken and cook on high for 3 hours (or until done). Remove chicken and add the flour to the sauce, whisking until slightly thickened. Drizzle sauce on top of chicken and be prepared to be amazed! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 5
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 2

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Low-Point Scrambled Egg Squash Cups

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Blessed with an abundant amount of summer (yellow) squash this year from our garden, I'm always trying to create great new recipes that are filling and delicious. This recipe is just that! Light, flavorful, and filling -- a must try recipe I'm sure you'll want to repeat!


Low-Point Scrambled Egg Squash Cups
Ingredients:
- 2, medium summer (yellow) squash
- 2 slices bacon
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbs 1% milk
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 2 Tbs onion, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. Goya Adobo seasoning (or your favorite seasonings)
- About 8 to 10 grape or cherry tomatoes
- lettuce (optional)
Cut the bottom half (fattest part) of the summer squash and then a little slice off the very bottom so the squash cup stands upright (see photo). Scoop out the insides of the squash (leaving a thin layer of squash to create a vessel or cup to hold contents). Dice squash along with remaining (top part) of the squash and combine with garlic, onion, and seasonings. Set aside. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove and set aside to cool. Using bacon grease, add squash mixture to hot skillet and saute' for several minutes. Remove squash mixture to a bowl. Crack both eggs into a bowl and add the milk. Whisk eggs until smooth and add egg mixture to the same hot skillet. Stir frequently until eggs are cooked through and scrambled. Combine eggs with the squash and crumble bacon into the mixture as well. Before spooning the mixture into the squash cups, place the squash cups on a microwavable-safe plate and cook for 2 minutes in the microwave. Spoon squash mixture into the squash cups and set on a bed of lettuce (if desired). Spoon remaining egg and squash mixture next to the squash cup on the same plate. Garnish with tomatoes and serve. Enjoy!! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 2
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3


"For it was not into my ears you whispered, but into my heart; it was not my lips you kissed, but my soul." - Judy Garland 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Low-Point Cheesecake-Filled Strawberries

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These delectable cream-filled strawberries are the perfect bite-sized treat for any gathering. Made with only six ingredients, they're very easy to make but, unfortunately, quick to disappear. :)

Low-Point Cheesecake-Filled Strawberries
Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh strawberries
- Fresh blueberries
- 1, 8 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tbs powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Graham cracker crumbs
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Set aside. Remove stems from strawberries. Cut around the top of the strawberries and remove the insides with a paring knife (as much as you can). Fill piping bag (or Ziploc sandwich bag with the corner snipped off) with the cream cheese mixture. Fill strawberries with mixture, sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on each strawberry, and place a blueberry on top. Enjoy right away or refrigerate (covered) overnight. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 21
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3

"God has a reason for allowing things to happen. It's never by chance. We may not understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will." * Anonymous

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Low-Point Five-Can Soup

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TGFF!!! (Thank God for friends!) One of my dear friends gave me this recipe and I just had to try it. Another very easy and FANTASTIC recipe that you can make and keep in the fridge ahead of time for a light lunch or supper. At 1.6 points per cup, it can make a great starter to a meal or if you're out of points because you went overboard on my last post, "Low-Point Angel Food Fruit Cake", enjoy as your entire meal. :)


Low-Point Five-Can Soup
Ingredients:
- 1, 18.5 oz. can Progresso Light Vegetable and Noodle soup
- 1, 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (no-salt diced tomatoes if you can find them)
- 1, 15 oz. can Hormel Turkey Chili with no beans (any brand would work)
- 1, 15.25 oz. can whole kernel corn (no-salt or low-sodium)
- 1/2, 10 oz. can mild Rotel with diced tomatoes and green chilies
These spices and herbs are optional but I also added:
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
Combine all ingredients and heat in a medium sauce pan. Voila'! Dinner is served! Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - Approximately 9 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 1.6


"Love makes you strong in front of the whole world, but weak in front of the one you love." - Anonymous 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Low-Point Angel Food Fruit Cake

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Not an expert baker? You don't need to be with this magnificent cake recipe that has only TWO ingredients! Simple and delicious! Enjoy!!!


Low-Point Angel Food Fruit Cake
Ingredients:
- 1 box Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake Mix (white)
- 1, 21 oz. can fruit pie filling (I used cherry for this recipe)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix and pie filling until creamy and spread in 13-inch by 9-inch cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 15
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3


"You never have to wait for anyone, or anything, if you find pleasure in the moment at hand." - Jennifer Freed

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Low-Point Spiced Teriyaki Chicken

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Light 'er up -- it's time to grill! :) Grilling season is upon us and regardless if you have an outdoor grill or not, most of the grilling recipes you see can be done exact same on an indoor grill pan just right on your stove. This savory recipe is an easy way to make your chicken very flavorful. So much so, you might be "grilled" until you hand over the recipe!


Low-Point Spiced Teriyaki Chicken
Ingredients:
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs Teriyaki sauce
- 1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 Tbs minced garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. creole seasoning
- 2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves)
- 4, 4 oz. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
Mix all ingredients together and marinate chicken thighs until thoroughly saturated. (If time permits, let marinate at least 30 min. ahead of time.) Place chicken on grill set to medium-high temperature. Turn thighs over every 2 to 3 minutes so they won't over cook. Remove when cooked to desired doneness, and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 4.4


"When you're down to nothing, God is up to something." - Anonymous

Monday, May 14, 2012

Low-Point Italian Sausage Sliders

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These mouthwatering sliders are a culinary delight! Made with mild Italian sausage and just the right amount of succulent sauce, you will easily see why this recipe will be at the top of your list!


Low-Point Italian Sausage Sliders
Ingredients:
- 1 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbs shallots, finely diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp. oregano (optional)
- 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage (or 4, 4 oz. links, casings removed)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups pasta or marinara sauce (I used Classico Traditional Sweet Basil)
- 12 slider buns or small potato rolls
- Basil leaves
Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots to skillet and saute' for about three minutes. Remove and combine shallot mixture, salt, pepper, oregano, ricotta, parsley, panko, sausage, and egg in a large bowl. Shape mixture into 12 little meatballs and press down slightly to flatten. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add remaining two teaspoons olive oil. Add meatballs to skillet and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Reduce heat to simmer and add marinara sauce. Cover and let simmer for 7 to 8 more minutes (until meat is cooked through). Add a basil leaf to meatball before putting on the top bun. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 12
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5.5


"Even when you don't communicate as often as you'd like, if you think about someone long enough, they feel it." - Anonymous*

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Different View

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It has been awhile since my first hospice patient has passed. I had several other patients assigned to me since then, all of them deciding it was best to go see their heavenly Father right before I had the chance to visit them. I guess I can't take that too personally when I think about it. I mean, "Get a visit from me, a hospice volunteer, or go to heaven and live in eternity with God." It's a no-brainer really. However, I was glad to finally meet my second patient yesterday. A sweet young man that a progressive brain disorder has left him unable to speak with limited mobility. How different from my first patient, who with Alzheimer's, loved to tell me stories about the fish he caught and was getting ready to clean and cook up (in the nursing home) or all about the warm socks he was wearing because New York is cold in the winter, although he lived in Virginia at the time. :)
This new patient was far different. Only able to give me a thumbs up or down for yes and no (and sometimes getting those mixed up) he moved about with his walker ever-so-slowly, walking circles around the few rooms he visited each day, almost as if he were searching for something. After watching TV and walking circles for about an hour, I decided to fire up my iPad and call up a few games. Encouraging this patient to have a seat at the table, I placed the iPad in front of him. Looking down at a Bowling game I called up, he immediately gave me a "thumbs down"; but after seeing him eat a wonderful lunch and doing a fantastic job at feeding himself, I decided his limited mobility didn't include not being able to use his finger to push a virtual bowling ball down a lane. After taking his finger and demonstrating how to play... several times.... he got it! STRIKE -- at one of his first attempts! Although he made no expression at his champion bowling skills, the cheering section clapped and hollered, "YOU DID IT! GOOD JOB!" With still no expression on his face, I can only assume his glance at me was either to say, "Thank you" or "Keep it down, "cheering section!" Regardless, we celebrated by mastering Angry Birds as well. Now I'm on a mission to find games he can play with just the touch of his finger. Being a hospice volunteer has made me not only reflect more deeply on what's really important in life, it's given me a whole new respect and admiration for these patients' true caretakers; their spouse, sibling, relative, or friend. It's almost embarrassing to be thanked over and over for taking a few hours out of my day that provides these caretakers a much needed breath of fresh air and a little time to regroup.


"One person caring about another represents life's greatest value." 
- Jim Rohn



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Low-Point Sautéed Sausage and Grapes with Kale

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Sweet, spicy, and packed full of flavor; this sautéed sausage and grapes with seasoned kale is a fantastic recipe that you'll definitely want to make again and again!


Low-Point Sautéed Sausage and Grapes with Kale
Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 3, 4 oz. sweet or spicy sausage links, casings removed
- 3 cups green seedless grapes, halved
- 1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 Tbs garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 8 cups kale, chopped
- shaved parmesan, optional
In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute' until thoroughly cooked (breaking apart with a wooden spatula or spoon as you stir). Remove sausage to a plate when cooked and add remaining olive oil, grapes, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic to same skillet. Saute' for several minutes, stirring constantly. Add white wine and red wine vinegar, stir and let liquid reduce by half. Throw in kale and saute' until kale is slightly wilted. Add fresh grapes (if desired) to each serving and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 7; Serving size with 2 Tbs shaved parmesan - 8)


"If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes; only then would you realize how special you are to me." - Anonymous 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Low-Point Seasoned Pork Tenderloin

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This perfectly seasoned pork tenderloin is very savory and satisfying! No sauce or condiments needed! Enjoy!


Low-Point Seasoned Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients:
- 1 lb. boneless pork tenderloin, cut into 10 thin slices
- 1 Tbs olive oil (plus Pam cooking spray with olive oil, only if needed)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/8 tsp. cumin
- 1 Tbs ground coffee
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
Mix the salt, pepper, cumin, coffee, and onion powder in a bowl. Press seasoning mixture on slices of pork tenderloin, both sides. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Place seasoned pork tenderloin slices in skillet and sear on both sides. Turn heat down to medium and continue cooking pork until desired doneness, turning over several times to cook evenly. Remove and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 10
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 2


"The quickest way to change your attitude toward pain is to accept the fact that everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth." - M. Scott Peck

Monday, April 2, 2012

Low-Point Avocado Chicken Salad

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Yum! Great for an appetizer, lunch, or dinner -- this Avocado Chicken Salad tastes amazing on a bed of lettuce or with Tostitos tortilla chips! Ideal for a delicious and healthy lunch to take to work as well!


Low-Point Avocado Chicken Salad
Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded or cubed skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3/4 cup salsa (I used Tostitos Mild Chunky)
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
- lettuce and/or 12 fun scoops Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips
Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken and cilantro and combine well. Stir in salsa and avocado. Garnish with two tablespoons of chopped basil. Serve on lettuce or tortilla chips. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3 (for 1 cup chicken mixture on a bed of lettuce); 6 (for 1 cup chicken mixture with 12 fun scoop tortilla chips), 4.5 (for 1 cup chicken mixture with 6 fun scoop tortilla chips)


"Almost any difficulty will move in the face of honesty. When I am honest, I never feel stupid. And when I am honest, I am automatically humble." 
- Hugh Prather

Friday, March 30, 2012

Low-Point Poached Egg with Sautéed Kale

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So you blew your points on a little more chocolate than you anticipated yesterday.. after the pizza you enjoyed. No need to worry, it's easy to get back on track with the healthy and delicious recipes on this blog, including this wonderful dish of bacon and poached egg on a bed of nutritious sautéed kale.


Low-Point Poached Egg with Sautéed Kale

Ingredients:

- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 2 slices of bacon
- 1 Tbs minced garlic
- 3 Tbs onion, chopped
- 4 cups fresh kale, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbs white vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove to plate. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and saute' onions and garlic for several minutes, until onions are tender. Place the chopped kale in the skillet and drizzle on the remaining half tablespoon of olive oil. Stir kale until it is heated through and starting to get soft/tender. Break up the bacon and add to skillet. Turn heat to low. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat a few inches of water and one tablespoon vinegar over medium heat. Crack an egg in a small bowl first, because it pours easier into the saucepan. Before the water starts to boil (you will see bubbles forming but it shouldn't be boiling), pour the egg slowly into the water. If the water starts boiling, turn down the heat. If the egg starts to stick to the bottom, use a spatula to gently slide underneath the egg after about 30 seconds of cooking. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of a bed of the kale and bacon mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


Total servings - 2
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 6


"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth." - Benjamin Disraeli