Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chicken and Chorizo Stew


Perfect for these cold fall days, this chicken and chorizo stew has a hearty taste with a little kick. 


- 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh parsley 
- 3 garlic cloves (left whole)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2, 6 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 Tbs 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. Return saucepan 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 chicken and cook for 5 more minutes. (If the stew looks more like a soup, remove about 1 cup 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! 

"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


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


- 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

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

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


- 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

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


- 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