Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Eve Party Recipes

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Whether you're going to throw/attend a New Year's Eve party or celebrate in the quiet comforts of your own home, you will need some great appetizers and desserts to enjoy while you do just that! Check out these simple recipes you can throw together quickly that will make ringing in the New Year that much more enjoyable!

APPETIZERS!!


















DESSERTS!!





















Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Low-Point Smoked Salmon Bites

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Getting together with friends? Need the perfect appetizer for that holiday party? Look no further! These Smoked Salmon Bites are a beautiful appetizer that is both very appealing and so savory. The delicate caviar and fresh dill sprigs add the perfect touch to these creamy smoked bites of heaven!

Low-Point Smoked Salmon Bites

Ingredients:

- *1 medium yellow squash
- 4 oz. 1/3 less-fat cream cheese
- 2 tsp. grated lemon rind
- 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- Cooked smoked salmon strips (each strip is 2 oz.)
- Salmon caviar
- fresh dill sprigs

* This recipe called for yellow or Chioggia beets but I could not find those anywhere, so I used yellow squash. However, feel free to serve on crackers, little breads, or anything that sounds good to you. (I went with squash because it adds zero points).

Cut the squash into slices (thick enough to hold appetizer; about 1/4" slices). Trim edges off sides of squash to form squares, if you'd like. Line squash squares on a serving tray or plate. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon rind, and lemon juice. Lay the salmon on the squash where one end of the salmon lines with the edge of the squash. Place a small dollop of cream cheese mixture (about 1/2 tsp.) on salmon and then fold the other side of the salmon over the mixture. Add another dollop of cream cheese mixture on top, garnish each with 2 or 3 caviar eggs, and fresh dill. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here!

Total servings - 12
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving - 3
Total points plus per serving - 3

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't,  you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

Thursday, November 20, 2014

'Tis the Season for Second Glances

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A blog worth repeating... over and over and over again.

Most of my blog entries have been ingredients on how to plan, prepare, and serve up goodness on a platter. This blog is slightly different in that there are no ingredients for making a delicious appetizer, entree, or dessert; but more to share my thoughts on feasting on the goodness of giving throughout this holiday season (and continuing on long after the decorations have been put away.) 

Every day I thank God for the many blessings he's bestowed upon our family. I pray that He uses me to return the blessings by being there for others in need. Then, more often than not, I find myself waiting and wondering when God is going to do just that; when He is going to use me to make a real impact on a person's life. I just went about my days wondering when I was going to be used for something "big" that I ended up not doing any of the little things that count just as much! It hit me one day when I was in the drive-through line at McDonald's. Looking in the mirror I saw behind me, an elderly couple who ordered after me. When I went up to the window to pay, I asked if I could pay for the car behind me as well. I told the cashier to tell the couple that their order has been paid for by someone who is just doing a "random act of kindness". I thought maybe the couple behind me would, in turn, pass it on one day or "Pay It Forward". Even though I didn't know them or know if they were "in need", it still felt wonderful to be able to give. And the good part about it is I still felt I "received" as well. The feeling was so nice that I have done this quite a few more times since. Even though I don't think this is making a "big" impact, who's to say... the couple behind me might just think so.

* Recently, I went to one of the retail stores and saw, as you often do this time of year, volunteers for the Salvation Army ringing a bell, hoping for donations. As I parked my car, I sat and witnessed the many people walking right past the volunteer without a second glance. Yes, in these hard economic times, no-one can know for certain what kind of financial stress people are under. As I sat and thought about myself, my warm bed, having plenty of food to eat, and clothes to keep me warm, the thought of others who do not have any of these made it easy for me to reach in my wallet and take out even one dollar to donate. One dollar isn't a lot, but a dollar or two each time you go can make a difference. Decide to do this at least once this season and before walking away, make eye contact with the volunteer and sincerely wish them a good day or wonderful holiday season. With so many other people passing them by, some of these volunteers might not hear that often.

* Several people I know have decided not to decorate for Christmas. Either their children are all grown and have moved away or they're just not in the Christmas spirit due to other unfortunate circumstances. Although I can't imagine not decorating and being without Christmas spirit, I do understand why some feel there's no use or no need. However, I do pray that each person who says "What's the point?" finds the spirit of Christmas this season by doing something for someone else; taking a tray of cookies to a neighbor or a friend, putting a dollar in the Salvation Army donation pot, paying for an order behind them in the drive-through line, or just calling someone they know who are going through even a more difficult time and could really use a word of encouragement.

* In most cities, around this time of year, there are Angel trees set up in stores or churches with tags on them asking for gifts for someone in need. I will never forget taking one of these tags off an Angel tree at our church one year to buy for an eight-year old boy. Listed were his clothes sizes and shoe size but the last thing listed was a "wish" item that the eight-year old boy could ask for - something that he really wanted for Christmas. When I read the item it was hard for me to hold back my tears. Thinking he was going to ask for the latest toy for boys his age, I was speechless when I read that the item he most wanted was socks.

During one of the busiest times of the year, it is easy to go on about our hectic lives without a second glance at those who need us to pause, look around, and really see those who are truly in need of some Christmas spirit. Give hope to someone this Christmas. Even if you feel you don't have a lot of extra to share. It may even help you find the Christmas spirit that was lost within yourself.

"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Low-Point Bourbon & Brown Sugar Salmon

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A beautiful, yet simple, dish that is packed with protein and marinated with flavors that will make you think it came from an expensive restaurant!

Low-Point Bourbon & Brown Sugar Salmon

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. fresh salmon
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 green onions, green parts only, chopped small
- 1 tsp. dark sesame oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon in a glass baking dish. Pierce salmon with a fork so marinade will saturate all throughout. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour bourbon marinade over salmon and place in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until salmon flakes with a fork. Serve with rice, vegetables, or your favorite side dishes. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving - 5.5
Total points plus per serving - 6

"Take time to do what makes your soul happy." - Anonymous

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Low-Point Bacon Brie Fillo Cups

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It's that time of year for lots of family and friend gatherings. This appetizer will have people demanding the recipe, so have it handy. :)

Low-Point Bacon Brie Fillo Cups

Ingredients:

- One package (15 count) mini frozen Fillo cups, thawed
- 3 Tbs Smucker's Apricot Simply Fruit spread
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked crisp. I used Oscar Meyer Center Cut (60 cal. for 2 slices), divided
- Brie cheese
- Your favorite fresh herbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Let cool and crumble 3 of the four pieces. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, heat apricot spread and apple cider vinegar over medium-high heat. Let come to a boil and stir for 1 minute. Add 3 slices of the crumbled bacon. Reduce heat and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Place 1 tsp. brie cheese in the bottom of each Fillo cup. Top evenly with jam mixture and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and crumble and sprinkle remaining bacon slice on top of each cup. Top with fresh herbs (such as thyme or rosemary) and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 15
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving - 1.5
Total points plus per serving - 2


"My goal is to build a life I don't need a vacation from." - Rob Hill Sr. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Low-Point Chocolate Chip Cake Bites

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A delightful and quick recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth. All you need is a great cup of coffee!

Low-Point Chocolate Chip Cake Bites

Ingredients:

- 1/2 box of yellow cake mix
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 2 Tbs chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- melted chocolate (optional)
- brown sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except melted chocolate and brown sugar. Spray mini muffin pans with baking spray. Fill muffin pans three-fourths of the way full with batter. Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Allow to cool. Drizzle about 1/8 of a teaspoon of melted chocolate on top or sprinkle each cake bite with 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 22
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving - 1.5
Total points plus per serving - 2

"These things I know to be true: Good friends, a loving family, 
and dessert!" - Anonymous

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Low-Point Spicy Fish Soup

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Great flavor with a little kick! This spicy fish soup can be as hot and spicy as your taste buds will allow. Something that will warm you up during these chilly fall days.

Low-Point Spicy Fish Soup

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. Swai fish (You can use tilapia, mahi-mahi, or any white fish you desire)
- 1 Tbs plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1, 14.5 oz. can dice tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup asparagus, chopped small
- 1/2 tsp. yellow curry
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on your desired spice level
- 6 large green olives or 12 small, chopped
- Fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat fish with 2 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 15 min. (or until fish flakes with a fork). 

While the fish is baking, in a large sauce pan heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, and red pepper. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth, dice tomatoes, asparagus, curry, cayenne pepper, and olives. Stir frequently until asparagus has softened a little. When fish is done baking, remove from oven, cut into pieces, and add to soup base. Garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 8 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 2
Points plus per serving - 2.5

"Sometimes we need to break before we shine... 
just like a glow stick." - Anonymous


Monday, October 27, 2014

Low-Point Cream Cheese Spaghetti Salad

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Something new and different to take to your next family/friend get-together. Served cold, this spaghetti salad, with fresh veggies and herbs, makes a great side dish or entree' for everyone to enjoy!

Low-Point Cream Cheese Spaghetti Salad

Ingredients:

- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1, 8 oz. 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil
- 1 Tbs Splenda 
- 1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 of a 13.25 oz. box whole grain spaghetti
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- basil or parsley to garnish
- paprika (optional)

In a mixing bowl, combine first 10 ingredients. Set aside.

In a large pan, boil spaghetti according to cooking instructions. Drain and let cool. Combine spaghetti with cream cheese mixture and place in a serving dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and basil or parsley. Sprinkle on a little bit of paprika for color if desired. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 5 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Total points per serving - 7
Total points plus per serving - 7.5

"Your dream doesn't have an expiration date. 
Take a deep breath and try again." - Anonymous

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Low-Point Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

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Let's take a break from entrees and focus on what a person really wants... dessert!!!! These soft and gooey peanut butter fudge bars are pretty darn amazing! With this recipe being so incredibly easy to make, you're going to want to hang on to it so you can make these over and over again.

Low-Point Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

Ingredients:

- 1/2 box of regular size yellow cake mix
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter (I used Jif*)
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1/2 of a 14 oz. can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 Tbs butter (I used Imperial)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, peanut butter, applesauce, and egg. Blend well. Press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat the condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter over medium heat; stirring until smooth. Pour over crust. Spoon rest of the cake batter over chocolate mixture. Bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 16
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3.5
Points plus per serving - 4.5

*NOTE: If you use Whipped Creamy Skippy instead of Jif your total points per serving would be 3 and your total points plus per serving would be 4.

"You can keep going long after you think you can't." - Your Body

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Low-Point Fabulous Fish Tacos

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These fabulous fish tacos are coated with such savory seasonings, you don't even need to top it with sauce. But just in case you love that savory taco sauce, I have created not one, but three, delicious sauces for your taste buds to enjoy!

Low-Point Fabulous Fish Tacos

Ingredients:

- 1 Tbs, plus 1 tsp. olive oil - divided
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 Tbs red pepper, chopped (optional)
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- 4, 4 oz. white fish (such as swai, tilapia, or mahi mahi)
- salt
- pepper
- cumin
- smoked paprika
- 2 Tbs Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- low-cal, high fiber 8-inch flour tortillas (like Target's Market Pantry flour tortilla)
- red cabbage, shredded

Heat skillet over medium high heat with 1 Tbs olive oil. Add garlic, onion, and red pepper. Stir for approximately one minute. Add in tomato and stir for another minute. Remove mixture to bowl and set aside to cool. Remove skillet from heat until you prepare your fish. Return skillet to heat and let get hot before adding fish.

Coat fish with remaining 1 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt, pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika. Pat Panko onto both sides of fish and place in skillet over medium-high heat. (If the skillet needs more oil, spray with Pam Cooking Spray with olive oil.) Cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fish, let cool slightly and then chop into chunks. Add fish to sautéed vegetables and combine gently. Place fish mixture into flour tortillas and top with red cabbage. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Add one of these great taco sauces below:

Creamy Salsa Creole

Ingredients:
- 2 Tbs each of light sour cream, light mayonnaise, and salsa. Add 1/4 tsp. of both creole seasoning and dill seed. Mix and add 1 Tbs on top of each taco.

Guacamole Salsa
Ingredients: 
- 2 Tbs each of guacamole (ready mini cups), salsa, and light sour cream. Add 1/4 tsp. creole seasoning. Mix and add 1 Tbs on top of each taco.

Creamy Whole-Grain Mustard Salsa

Ingredients:

- 2 Tbs each of light sour cream, light mayonnaise, and salsa. Add 1/2 to 1 Tbs whole-grain mustard. Mix and add 1 Tbs on top of each taco.

Total servings - 6
Serving size - 1 taco
Points per serving - Without any salsa toppings - 3; with one tablespoon any of the salsas - 3.5
Points plus per serving - Without any salsa toppings - 4.5; with one tablespoon of any of the salsas - 5

NOTE:  You can also just use salsa by itself for no added points!

"I've never met a meal I didn't like." - Miss Piggy

Friday, October 17, 2014

Low-Point Magic Cookie Bars

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You're going to want to save some of your points for dessert today! These soft and chewy cookie bars take a very short time to make, but they disappear very quickly... like magic! :)

Low-Point Magic Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 egg
- 1 stick of butter (I used Imperial), softened
- 1/4 cup butterscotch morsels
- 1/4 cup chocolate chip morsels
- 1/2 of a 14. oz can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg, and butter. Press cake mixture into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle butterscotch and chocolate chips on top and then drizzle condensed milk over all. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cut when cool. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 18
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 4.5
Points plus per serving - 6.5

NOTE: If you left out 1/4 cup of either the butterscotch or chocolate chips, the total points per serving would be 4 and the points plus per serving would be 6.

"Keep on going and keep trying; but some days 
you just have to indulge." - Anonymous

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Low-Point Rustic Tomato-Basil Soup

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Amazing! Looking very forward to making this off and on throughout the fall/winter season! So incredibly easy too. Simply throw everything into the blender and then heat it up. Magnifico!

Low-Point Rustic Tomato-Basil Soup

Ingredients:

- 3/4 cup fat-free half and half
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs Splenda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt (or sea salt)
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 3 large beefsteak tomatoes (those wonderful big juicy ones), chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (tip: you can buy a jar of garlic already minced to save time)
- parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients, except parmesan, into a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pan and heat to desired temperature. Add 1/2 Tbs parmesan to each bowl of soup before serving. You can also garnish with more basil as well. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Total points per serving - 1.5
Total points pus per serving - 1

"Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn't give you credit." - Anonymous 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Low-Point Seasoned Millet Stuffed Tomatoes

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This gluten-free dish can be enjoyed as an appetizer or entree'. It is very easy to prepare and incredibly healthy to eat. Packed with herbs, parmesan, lemon juice and seasonings, this delightful dish would be a beautiful addition to any event. Whether it be a family gathering or just dining alone. It will fill you up without filling you out! :)

Low-Point Seasoned Millet Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup whole-grain millet
- 4, vine-ripe medium tomatoes, tops removed and seeds/pulp scooped out and reserved
- 1 Tbs. minced onion
- 1/2 cup zucchini or squash, chopped small
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, chopped small
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped small
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt (more if desired)
- 1/4 tsp. pepper (more if desired)

Cook millet according to directions. Once cooked, let cool slightly and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Add the reserved tomato pulp, and combine. Spoon mixture into tomatoes (approximately 1/4 cup mixture into each tomato). Eat immediately or refrigerate until you're ready to enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

*Note - you will have leftover millet mixture. Place in a tightly-sealed container and store in refrigerator to enjoy at a later time. (If mixture appears dry setting in the refrigerator for a day or two, add more lemon juice for no extra points or one tablespoon of olive oil for 3.6 additional points.)  OR feel free to core and scoop out more tomatoes for remaining mixture.

Total servings - 4 tomatoes
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 1.5
Points plus per serving - 2

"Today is going to be a good day. 
Enjoy every last minute." - Anonymous



Monday, October 13, 2014

Low-Point Crockpot Salsa Chicken

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It is amazing how only four ingredients could produce such wonderful flavor! Just add all ingredients to crockpot and you're done!

Low-Point Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Ingredients:

- 4, 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 of a 1.25 oz package of Taco seasoning
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 can Campbell's Heart Healthy Cream of Mushroom Soup

Add chicken to the crockpot and layer on the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours (depending on how hot your crockpot gets). Stir occasionally. Serve over rice, if desired, 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
Points plus per serving - 4.5

"You don't have to be great to start; 
but you have to start to be great." - Zig Ziglar

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Low-Point Bacon Pierogi Bake

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Bacon and cheesy pierogies? Say no more! This beautiful bright dish gives you all the flavors your taste buds long for. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Low-Point Bacon Pierogi Bake

Ingredients:

- 1, 16 oz. package frozen potato and onion pierogies
- 4 slices of bacon (I used Oscar Mayer Center Cut)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1, 8 oz. package 1/3-less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 Tbs. green onions, chopped
- 1 plum (Roma) tomato, seeded and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the frozen pierogies in a baking dish sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Set aside. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove to a plate and let cool. Once cooled, crumble into pieces and set aside. Using the same skillet, add garlic and cook for one minute. Add cream cheese, chicken broth, salt, and pepper and stir/whisk until all the cream cheese has melted and you have produced a creamy sauce. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the pierogies and place pierogies in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese. Return to oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and top with bacon, tomatoes, and green onions. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 6
Serving size - 1 (2 pierogies)
Points per serving - 6.5
Points plus per serving - 7

"I am not a glutton. I am an explorer of food." - Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Low-Point Gluten-Free No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

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It's this simple: throw together these easy ingredients, roll them into balls, pop them in the refrigerator, and pull one (or three) out anytime you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. I have three left. Trying to save them for tomorrow, but it's pretty difficult!

Low-Point Gluten Free No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup Skippy Whipped Creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup Hershey's milk chocolate chips
- 3 Tbs honey
- 1/4 cup coconut flour

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into 1-inch balls. (If batter is too soft, put it in the refrigerator for a little bit). Store in refrigerator and enjoy anytime you need a dessert fix.  Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 14
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 2
Points plus per serving - 2.5

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy dessert." - Anonymous

Monday, October 6, 2014

Low-Point Gluten-Free Coconut Cream Cheese Squares

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This recipe, made with coconut flour, is a very satisfying dessert, especially with caramel sundae syrup on top. I, personally, liked this dessert better the day after I made it. I kept it in the fridge overnight, pulled it out this morning, poured myself a cup of coffee and thoroughly enjoyed these little goodies. And as always, the chocolate chips I added to the recipe makes these scrumptious coconut cream cheese squares even more divine.

Low-Point Gluten-Free Coconut Cream Cheese Squares

Ingredients:

- 1, 8 oz. package of 1/3-less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 stick of butter (I used Imperial)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup Splenda, sugar substitute
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Hershey's milk chocolate chips
- Fat-Free Smucker's Caramel Sundae Syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray Pam baking spray in an 11-inch by 7-inch baking dish. Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Add Splenda gradually and continue mixing. Add coconut flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips; and mix until well blended.

Pour batter into the baking dish and bake for 25 or 30 minutes. Let cool and slice into squares. Add 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. of caramel on top of each piece, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 18
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving - 3
Total points plus per serving - 3

"Bacon and alcohol can have gluten? 
Dang, there goes my weekend." - Anonymous

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Low-Point Steamed Littleneck Clams with Kielbasa and Basil

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These fresh clams were so affordable, I couldn't resist buying them. With dinner preparations underway, I needed to first read up on how to clean fresh clams so there would be no sandy "grit" as we enjoyed them. I found this link for easy-to-follow steps on "How to quickly clean littleneck clams."  Once they are cleaned, it takes hardly any time at all to prepare them. Quick, easy, and delicious! Just how you want a dinner to be!

Low-Point Steamed Littleneck Clams with Kielbasa and Basil

Ingredients:

Note: This is a single-serving recipe or a two-person appetizer. You can double or triple the recipe, depending on how many you are feeding.

- 12, fresh, Littleneck Clams (make sure their shells are not open when you purchase. If they are, give them a tap. If they do not close, discard. Clams must remain alive until cooked.)
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 oz. turkey kielbasa, chopped
- 2 Tbs. butter (I used Imperial)
- 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. creole seasoning
- fresh basil

After washing clams, place one to two inches of water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and place clams in boiling water. Reduce heat, cover, and let clams steam for about three to four minutes. Open lid and make sure all clams have opened. If some have not, cover and let steam another minute or two. If some clams still have not opened, discard those. Once clams have opened, remove, one at a time, to a bowl; and reserve the clam water/stock. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter, onions, and garlic. Saute' until garlic is a light golden brown, stirring frequently. Add kielbasa, pepper, and creole seasoning. Stir for one minute and add the corn and the reserved clam water. Let that cook for one and a half to two minutes. Remove from heat and pour mixture over clams and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 1
Points per serving - 9 (4.5 if this is a two-person appetizer)
Points plus per serving - 10 (5 if this is a two-person appetizer)

"A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, 
must bring soul to the recipe." - Thomas Keller

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Low-Point Brown Sugar Meatloaf

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The title just sounds good doesn't it? Brown Sugar Meatloaf!!! Enough said? This sweet and juicy meatloaf takes hardly any time at all to prepare and unfortunately even less time to eat! So tasty it keeps you coming back for more!

Low-Point Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
- 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 3/4 cup finely crushed saltine crackers crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of the pan and press down lightly. Spread the ketchup on top of the brown sugar. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly mix remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. (The mixture might seem too thin. Don't worry about that; just pat into a loaf and it will cook perfectly.) Place loaf on top of the ketchup. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the center is not done, cook for another 15 minutes. Remove and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 7
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving - 5
Total points plus per serving - 6

"It's not who you are that holds you back; 
it's who you think you are not." - Denis Waitley

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Low-Point Swordfish Steak with Kalamata-Basil Tapenade

Yum


FINALLY !!! A NEW RECIPE!!!  We have been in the process of moving for quite a few months. I am happy to say we are now established in our new home and I am soooo ready to get back in the kitchen! I apologize for not having more recipes out there these last few months for my wonderful followers! 

This excellent recipe is high in protein and low in fat! This tasty, healthy, and delicate swordfish can only be improved with the savory Kalamata-basil tapenade placed on top of each swordfish steak! Give it a try! You won't be disappointed! 

Low-Point Swordfish Steak with Kalamata-Basil Tapenade

Indredients:

- 3, 4 oz. swordfish steaks
- 1 Tbs plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 cup fresh basil (packed)
- 3 Tbs Kalamata olives
- 1 tsp. capers
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 green onion
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
- salt and pepper to taste

Coat fish with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a skillet that has been preheated over medium-high heat. Cook swordfish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove and cover. 

In a food processor, place fresh basil, olives, capers, garlic, onion, and remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped. Remove to bowl and stir in fresh tomatoes.  Place tapenade mixture on each swordfish and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 3
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 6.5
Points plus per serving - 6.5

"It's not that some people have will power and some do not; it's that some people are ready to change and others are not." - James Gordon

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Low-Point Blueberry Bliss

Yum

Cool, refreshing, and perfect for a summer day! This cup full of happiness can easily be adapted to suit your favorite fruit taste. Raspberries, strawberries, or any other fruit with different flavors of yogurt make this decadent dessert even more desirable!

Low-Point Blueberry Bliss

Ingredients:

- 1, 1 oz. box of sugar-free fat-free instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 2, Greek 100 blueberry yogurts
- Fresh blueberries
- 1 cup Lite Cool Whip, plus 2 Tbs for the topping of each dessert bowl.
- Granola

In a large bowl, combine pudding and milk. Whisk for about two minutes until the pudding starts to get firm. Add yogurts, fresh blueberries, and cool whip. Spoon 1/2 cup into little dessert bowls or ramekins. Sprinkle with just a little bit of granola and enjoy! Refrigerate for a few hours beforehand if you prefer it chilled. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 9, 1/2 cups
Serving size - 1/2 cup
Points per servings - 1.5
Points plus per serving - 2

"Eat well, live simply, laugh often." - Anonymous