Roasted Sesame Cabbage Wedges

I have to quickly share these, just because they were probably my favorite recipe from last week!

I love cabbage. Love love it in most forms. However, this is probably my new favorite and best way to love cabbage. I found the original recipe and idea on Pinterest. I adapted it to make it a zero point side and to fit with the theme of my meal. It was an Asian(ish) night, so I added sesame and soy to the recipe. I liked it so much I think I’d probably keep the sesame and soy even if it wasn’t an Asian night.

Roasted Sesame Cabbage Wedges
Inspired by Martha Stewart’s roasted cabbage wedges recipe.
Bad after daylight picture, but I had to share this recipe!


  • 1 head of cabbage
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • Tony Chachere’s Seasoning Salt (or salt & pepper)
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
Preheat oven to 400. Rinse cabbage and slice cabbage into 1 inch thick rounds. I cut of the end and sliced it in half and then sliced each half into rounds. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. 
Season each wedge LIGHTLY on both sides with Tony’s (or salt & pepper). Lightly spray cooking spray over the wedges (just the top, the bottoms will get the cooking spray from the pan). Sprinkle with sesame seeds and roast for 40-45 minutes, or until cabbage is tender and edges are browning. 
When mine came out of the oven, I splashed them with just a tad of soy sauce. I didn’t plug them into the recipe builder, but sometimes when you cook with veggies or fruits it makes them be points. But all the ingredients I used were zero points and under the appropriate serving to be zero points, so I’m calling them zero points for me! 

I served mine with perfect (finally!) brown rice and teriyaki meatballs (I used this meatball recipe, but used teriyaki sauce instead of bbq sauce).

Nutella Fudge Pops

I’m not a huge fan of ice cream unless it’s my Papaw’s homemade ice cream. I have, however, always had a soft spot for popsicles. My favorite by far has always been the fudgesicle. It’s such a creamy, sweet Spring/Summer treat. When I saw this super easy and mostly healthy recipe for homemade ones, I knew I had to try it. Thanks Chocolate Covered Katie
Nutella Fudge Pops
(recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie – I only used different Nutella)

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (I used 1/4 cup creamy & 1/4 cup crunchy of the Kroger brand)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
I froze my bananas with the peel on. It was a tiny bit hard to peel them, but not impossible if you cut them in half down the middle and then sliced them long ways in half. The peel came off pretty easy that way. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse, pulse pulse, blend, blend, blend for a long time until all ingredients are combined and smooth.
You can eat it straight out of the food processor as a yummy, creamy ice cream, or you can freeze them for fudgesicles! I used paper mouth wash cups to refreeze mine in. They were quite large servings to me, but I don’t know of any smaller cups to freeze in. 
Yields 5 servings. If you count the bananas in the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder they are 6 points each, if you don’t, they are 4. 

Roasted Asparagus Penne with Balsamic Butter

I highly, highly recommend this meal! I am a meat eater. I love it. I love meat. However, I do try to incorporate vegetarian meals in my planning every other week. It seems like a healthy and right thing to do. 
A dish must be pretty fantastic and noteworthy for me to not really miss the meat. I can fake it, but usually, I am quite aware it isn’t there. This dish definitely made me forget about meat. 
I lightened it quite a bit by using a whole wheat penne, yogurt butter, olive oil spray, and reduced fat Parmesan. Oh my, it’s good! Asparagus was on sale in my neck of the woods too. You could also do roasted broccoli if you don’t like asparagus or it’s not in season.

Roasted Asparagus Penne with Balsamic Butter

(recipe inspired by a less healthier version found on Pinterest)


  • 1 lb asparagus
  • olive oil cooking spray (I use Great Value)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb whole wheat penne (I use Great Value)
  • 1/2 cup Brummel & Brown yogurt butter
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Wash the asparagus and snap the hard ends off. (Tip: Softly bend the asparagus spears towards the bottom, there will be a natural give against where the good part and the hard end meet and it will easily break off.) Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Spray with olive oil cooking spray about 5 times. Toss in spray and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

While that cooks, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer and reduce until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Remove from heat. At the same time your pasta can be cooking. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done, about 11-13 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to pot. 
Toss the pasta with the butter, vinegar mixture, roasted asparagus, Parmesan, and remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons of salt. Top with the chopped green onion tops and additional Parmesan. 
Yields 7 servings of 1 1/4 cup portions. Each serving is 8 points. Serve with salad. I made a quick chopped salad with diced pears, sliced strawberries, romaine, and a light sesame salad dressing.

Meal Prep Monday

This week had another one of my favorite parts, Monday off! Although, it kind of doesn’t count. Being Easter weekend, everyone here had Monday off. This means I should also get Friday off, don’t you think? 
Well wait… If I have Friday off, I’ll sleep in, and then I will jump right to lunch and skip breakfast. And then… I’ll have to miss out on eating one of these amazing Breakfast Burritos. Okay, I’ll work on Friday. 
This week for Meal Prep Monday Off I made some lovely make ahead Breakfast Burritos. I also cut up a lot of veggies, prepped tomorrow’s crock pot meal, AND made Nutella Fudge Pops. Don’t worry, the recipe is coming tomorrow(ish). 
You should definitely make these burritos. They are only 5 points each on Weight Watchers, so good, so easy, and very filling. (And yes, your calculations are correct. There hasn’t been a morning since I made them, which does mean I had one for a meal snack.)
Breakfast Burritos
My recipe was inspired by Recipe Diaries (another healthy version using turkey sausage, 7-9 points) who was inspired by Pioneer Woman (a not so healthy version that looks amazing if you aren’t counting points).

Makes 8 servings. 5 Points Plus per serving.


  • 1 1/2 cups Egg Beaters
  • 3 tbsp of liquid egg whites (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 20 slices of thinly sliced deli ham (I use Land O’ Frost brand), chopped
  • 4 slices Oscar Mayer Fully Cooked Bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp Brummel & Brown butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheese (I used fiesta blend)
  • 1 green onion, chopped (optional)
  • 8 Mission Low Carb Tortillas
  • 2 tbsp dried chives
  • Tony Chachere’s Seasoning (or any all purpose seasoning salt)
  • salt & pepper
In a large bowl combine Egg Beaters, egg whites, and milk. Whisk until combined. Add cheese and chives. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined. In a large skillet heat butter over medium heat. Saute onions in butter until they begin to turn translucent. Add chopped ham and bacon. Season to taste with seasoning salt.

When the edged of the ham start to brown, turn the stove down to medium low heat and slowly add in the egg mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are cooked and no liquid remains. In the very last few minutes add in the chopped green onion, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and let the egg mixture cool slightly, and then you can begin rolling.

If you’ve rolled burritos before, you know how to do it and can skip this part. If not, I’ll give a few tips. I lay out a piece of wax paper next to the stove so my work surface and burrito stuffing are close. I used a 1/2 cup measuring scoop and added a heaping 1/2 cup of the mixture to each tortilla. 
Add the mixture towards the bottom of the tortilla because it will move a bit when you roll. Fold in the left and right sides. Grab the bottom end of the tortilla and start rolling. Fold it over the mixture and then over again, tucking in the mixture completely. Continue rolling until all of the tortilla is rolled. 
These are easy to freeze and have available any time. I intend to eat one for breakfast every day this week, so I didn’t freeze mine. If you want to freeze them wrap them in tin foil and lay them on a baking sheet in the freezer. After several hours, they can be transferred from the sheet to a ziplock bag (or to roam free in your freezer if you aren’t as OCD about organization as I am). To heat from frozen state, remove from tinfoil and microwave for 2 minutes. 
If you aren’t going to freeze them, plastic wrap will do the trick. I used the tortilla bag to store my plastic wrapped yummy burritos in. To reheat microwave for 45 seconds – 1 minute. Serve with fruit for a 5 point filling breakfast. 
What’s your favorite breakfast food? 

Easter Goodness

This year for Easter my family (due to schedules) decided to have Easter Dinner on Saturday instead of Sunday. Thus, I get to go to two celebrations! My coworkers are getting together tomorrow night and I’ll get to attend since I already spent time with family. Which also means… getting to make more goodies! Today my family did potluck style. I brought Skinny Potato Casserole, Skinny Deviled Eggs, and Coconut Macaroons. Tomorrow is more of an assigned food type thing. I have been asked to bring dessert. I’m bringing more of the Coconut Macaroons, Strawberry Shortcake Trifle, and Orange Pretzel Salad. I am also required to bring Sweet Tea to any event with them. I’ll post those offerings tomorrow. 🙂

Coconut Macaroons
exact recipe from
I saw Gina at Skinny Taste post these a couple weeks ago and instantly had to make them. I didn’t even take the time to pin the recipe to make later. I literally went to my kitchen and made them. I love coconut. Today I doubled the recipe to have enough to take to both events. However, the recipe below is for a single batch. I also displayed them a top some pretty green Easter basket grass. The first time I used real egg whites, the second I used liquid. I really couldn’t tell a different and felt less guilty about wasting yolks with the liquid. 
  • 10 oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup egg white (or 5 large egg whites)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300. In a saucepan combine the coconut and sugar over medium low heat. Slowly stir in egg whites until combined. Note: DO NOT turn the stove eye higher. DO NOT pour the eggs in first. You will end up with coconut scrambled egg whites. Trust me. I almost did. Stir until completely combined and not soupy. About 7-12 minutes. It will still be sticky and wet. Place pan in the refrigerator on a plate or towel and let cool for 30 minutes. If you double the recipe, it will take longer. I ended up putting mine in the freezer. Spoon packed tablespoons full on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can put the cookies close together because they don’t spread. Bake for about 30 minutes. Bottoms will be golden and look like toasted coconut. The tops will start to brown just slightly. 
They are 3 points on Weight Watchers for 2 cookies. 

Skinny Cheesy Potato Casserole
recipe from
I used her recipe exactly, I just put in extra onion (I love onion). 
  • 32 oz bag of frozen cubed potatoes, defrosted
  • 1 medium chopped onion (she said 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 can of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup 2% sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup corn flakes, slightly crushed
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except corn flakes until well combined. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper. Spread evenly into a lightly sprayed 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with corn flakes and bake for 1 hour.
For 8 servings it’s 5 points per serving. However, at a potluck no one is eating 1/8th of the casserole so it’s probably less. 1/8th is a hearty portion for a side. 
Skinny Deviled Eggs
recipe from

I used her recipe exactly, even the egg cooking method! The only thing I did differently was double the recipe and use 1/2 green onions and 1/2 chives. The recipe below is for a single batch. 
  • 12 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayo
  • 3 tbsp chopped green onion tops or fresh chives (or 2 tbsp dried chives)
  • 1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • paprika, for garnish

Okay. I know this may sound crazy. It did to me at first too, but when I realized it was Alton Brown’s method for hard-cooked eggs, I decided to give it a try. These “boiled” eggs weren’t boiled at all! I preheated the oven to 325,  sat the eggs straight on the oven rack, and baked them for 30 minutes. Put a sheet pan under it just in case one cracks. One of mine did indeed crack, but I let it cook anyway. I was so excited to break it open and see that it actually worked!

The little guy who didn’t quite make it. 

Immerse the eggs in an ice bath and let them cool down for about 30 minutes. If you want to do the tried and true boiling way, you can too! But these made the creamiest yolks, perfect for deviled eggs. Once your hard cooked eggs of choice are cooked and peeled, cut them in half and discard the yolks of 4 of the eggs. Add the remaining 8 egg yolks (16 halves) in a food processor. Add all other ingredients except egg white halves. Process until smooth and creamy. Spoon mixture into a ziplock bag. Arrange egg white halves on a plate in a pretty fashion. Cut the tip off the ziplock bag and pipe the mixture into each half. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish. 

They are 1 point on Weight Watchers per egg half. These were so good! Everyone in my family loved them, no one could tell they were lighter at all, and no one could guess the secret ingredient (cottage cheese) either! 

Enjoy your Easter celebrations. The meaning of this holiday truly is one of my favorites and the greatest. He is risen and we are forgiven. What are you cooking for your celebrations? 

My Perfect Iced Coffee [& Monkey Bread]

We established during our BLT discussion that my brain and taste buds have their own strange set of odd rules (no soup and grilled cheese unless it’s cold outside, BLTs and melons are only for Spring and Summer, etc.). I discovered two new ones. Apparently I don’t feel like crafting unless it’s Fall/Winter. I’ve totally failed at keeping DIY Club going this Spring. I also made up a rule somewhere along the way that I’m not allowed to wear red on Easter Sunday.

I have this really cute wrap dress I’d like to wear as my Easter dress this year, but I’ve been having this internal battle that I can’t wear it because it’s in the red family. It’s one of the Spring pop colors apparently, the tomato tangerine red orange color, and I love it! Where the heck did I get this concept from?! I have a feeling it’s somehow to be blamed on my Southern roots and upbringing. Maybe I just associated the numerous pastel Easter dresses I had growing up with being the opposite of red.  Who knows. Regardless, I’m forcing my brain to get over it and wearing the dress. I might even try to make a soup between now and September.

However, there is one weird quirk I’m not willing to let go of and fully embrace. I can’t drink hot beverages from mid February to mid September (which is pretty much the Mississippi version of Summer). However, I love and must have coffee! Financially, I can not rely on my Starbucks Batista to provide my coffee for me every day. I’ve experimented with making my own iced coffee for several years. A fellow food blogging friend led me to a great way to make coffee concentrate for iced coffee last year. I liked that a lot, but it does take some effort and time. I also experimented with low cal frappes using instant coffee last summer. But I finally concocted the perfect (for me) iced coffee.

It uses Starbucks Via Iced Coffee packets. Depending on where you get them, they can be on the pricey side. They are more expensive at Starbucks, but you can get them at Kroger and Walmart as well. I happened upon them at Sam’s for a really great deal! Normally one box of five packets is close to $5. Last summer at Sam’s they sold them in two box packs (10 packets) for $2.81! I loaded up! I’m still using my stash from last summer. Unfortunately they aren’t selling them at Sam’s right now (I called), but sometimes things are seasonal there so I’m hoping they will bring them back for the summer. I like using these because they dissolve in cold water. Regular instant coffee has to be dissolved in hot water first.

Easy Iced Coffee

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

I was inspired by Pioneer Woman‘s Perfect Iced Coffee Recipe. However, I wanted a easier and more Weight Watchers friendly version. It’s 3 points for a good sized (16 oz) serving! (Which is less than any flavored specialty beverage that my favorite barista can make.) 


  • 2 packs of instant Starbucks Via Iced Coffee
  • 2 cups of skim milk (I use Great Value organic because it has a longer shelf life)
  • 4 cups of cold water
  • 1/4 cup of Bailey’s Fat Free French Vanilla Coffee Creamer (or any of your favorite liquid coffee creamers)
  • 3 tbsp fat free sweet condensed milk (I use Great Value)


I use my cute little 2 quart jug from Target. You could use any container you have. Pour the Via packets in your container of choice. Add creamer and 1 cup of milk. Shake shake shake. Shake until the Via dissolves or almost is completely dissolved. Add remaining milk. Add water one cup at a time. Via is strong just like Starbucks brewed coffee. I’m not a fan of uber strong coffee. So this combination is perfect for me. Each packet calls for 16 oz of liquid. I double that amount and it’s a perfect strength and taste for me. Tastes similar to the strength of McDonald’s iced coffee or has a similar strength of a Starbucks frappuccino vs. the brew. Once you get all the liquid in, you may be able to shake it a little, but I advise stirring.

And then… I made something unhealthy(ish), but I highly recommend that you make this one a day when you are having a cheat day. The pictures are awful! It was dark, daylight pictures are better. Some day soon (very soon) I’ll be making these again, making them healthier, calculating the points, and taking better pictures. I lightened up the original recipe a little, but one of my RAs assisted me and brought out the real butter. I used fat free sweet condensed milk instead of regular. There’s no turning back when that happens. I made biscuit dough from Heart Healthy Bisquick instead of using regular canned biscuits. Next time I’ll also use Brummel and Brown yogurt butter.

Monkey Bread Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Inspired by Pioneer Woman’s recipe.


  • 3 cups Heart Healthy Bisquick
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • butter (can substitute yogurt butter)
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • fat free sweet condensed milk


Preheat oven to 375. Mix Bisquick and milk until combined. Place dough on a floured surface and knead, folding over and over about 10 times. Spray your muffin tin. Add a little pad of butter, about 1/2 tsp, in each muffin cup. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of each. Pull walnut sized balls of dough off and roll in the palms of your hands. Place three dough balls in each muffin cup. Add another little pad of butter, about 1/2 tsp, on top of each. Sprinkle each with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately drizzle LOTS of condensed milk on top. Let soak in for 1 minute. Spoon out and enjoy!

Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole

If you’ve been following, you know that one of this week’s meals was Skinnytaste’s Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole. Oh my goodness was it good! I served it to four RAs and myself for one of their birthdays this week. They all LOVED it. They had seconds and thirds and raved about it the entire time. I even got a few more comments from the eaters the next day. You know you made a good meal when people still talk about it days later.

Chicken Broccoli Noodle Casserole
adapted from

With some basic ingredients and a little effort you can have a yummy, filling, impressive casserole. It’s a creamy casserole with absolutely NO cream of anything canned soups. I only changed the recipe just slightly. I used skim milk instead of 1% and Great Value whole wheat extra wide noodles instead of the more expensive brand. The other changes were minor as well and just based on my personal preferences. I’ll write the recipe with the changes I made, but please see the above listing for the original.
I make my own bread crumbs from lower calorie bread, freeze them, and always have them on hand for recipes.

Doing a little prep work the night before or on your prep work day is a great way to make this meal take less time to prepare. Things you can do before: make bread crumbs, make chicken stock, make shredded chicken and pre-measure it out, and chop onions to keep on hand for recipes. 
I used the shredded chicken I made on meal prep day on this recipe. I also rely on my good scale OFTEN! 


  • 6 oz Great Value extra wide whole wheat noodles
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (I used the jarred kind)
  • 14 oz bag of frozen broccoli
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour 
  • 1-3/4 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 12 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 4 oz shredded reduced fat cheddar (I used half sharp, half mild)
  • cooking spray
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
Cook noodles in salted water until soft with a little bite. Drain and set aside. Noodles will cook in the oven too, so under cooking them just slightly is okay. Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in a skillet. Add garlic and cook on medium heat until golden brown. Add frozen broccoli and saute with oil and garlic until broccoli gets soft and a few sprigs are just barely turning brown. Set aside. In another skillet heat butter until melted. Add minced onion and a little salt to sweat the onions, cook until translucent and soft. Add flour. Cook 2-3 more minutes coating onions in the flour. I like to multitask to minimize time, so I was cooking noodles, broccoli, and onions all at the same time. I recommend doing it that way, but if it stresses you out do it at your own pace and own way. 
Add chicken broth to the onions and flour. Whisk in slowly. Stir in milk and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp of the parmesan cheese. Mix until cheese is almost completely melted. Add the shredded chicken, broccoli and noodles. Stir until everything is coated and pour into a sprayed 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with remaining parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Spray cooking spray lightly on top and bake for 25-30 minutes. 
I always have to think really hard about sides for dishes like this. Casseroles often have everything in them! Starch, veggies, dairy. Steam in the bag veggies can be great side dishes if you doctor them up a bit. I served this with two additional veggies, one starchy and one green. I made steam in the bag corn with a tablespoon of yogurt butter, a little salt, a good bit of fresh cracked black pepper. I also made steam in the bag brussel sprouts. I quartered them after they cooked. That part is a little hot, but just do it fast! It’s worth it. People will like brussel sprouts if you chop them up a bit. I sauteed them in some yogurt butter and added Tony’s with a heavy hand (I love that stuff!).

I didn’t calculate the points for my version, but it would be equal to or less than hers since I used skim milk. Her recipe is 8 points for 1/6th of the recipe. 

Meal Prep Monday

My job is great for many, many reasons. I could ramble on about it for hours. Don’t worry, I won’t. At least not today. 🙂 One of the many reasons I love my job is that every other Monday I don’t work! I work 20 hours a week in the office and 20 in the building. I alternate being off on Mondays and Fridays every other week. Fridays off are nice. It feels luxurious. Sleeping in is a must. Pajamas are a must. Laziness and relaxation usually happen. It’s like an early kick off to the weekend.

Mondays off… They are a whole other thing. I love Mondays off because I’m so productive! If I haven’t done my two week shopping yet, I do it. I get up early. I usually treat myself to Starbucks. 
Oh. Allow me to interrupt myself for an important announcement. Since January I’ve been on a  journey. A Starbucks journey. For years I’ve generously partaken of Starbucks beverages and never knew about being a Gold Card holder. Long story short if you don’t know… Gold = benefits! Free things, a free drink every 15th, free birthday drink, free milk swaps and syrup additions. To become Gold you must register a giftcard, purchase drinks on the card (you’re already spending the money anyway! just put it on the card), and make it to 30. On your 30th drink they mail you your Gold Card. To maintain Gold you just have to purchase 30 drinks a year. I’d like to say that will be hard to do, but let’s be honest, it’s just not an issue. Today, as I treated myself to Starbucks on a productive Monday off, I made 29! It’s getting hot in my neck of the woods and unfortunately my car AC has been broken for a couple of years. I have this anti hot beverage thing that goes from March – September anyway, but when it’s hot, heavy on the milk things don’t sound appetizing to me. I ALMOST skipped on #29 for today, but then I remembered way back in college that Starbucks had a Green Tea Frappucinno. I decided to be brave and risky and ask if they could still make those. My favorite barista came through! She made me the most lovely Venti Raspberry Green Tea Skinny Frappuccino. A good Starbucks barista is like a good hair stylist. 
So right… Mondays off. I love them! I shop. I organize. I clean. And then I do one of my most favorite things in the entire world. Meal prep. Oh how I love it! It always involves cutting up produce for easy healthy eating access and quicker cooking. 
I know people say not to pre-cut strawberries and I get it. BUT… when I don’t cut them? They go to waste and become moldy garbage! When I do? I snack on healthy bit sized berries all week, I grab them for a breakfast addition, I sneak them in lunches, and I top microwave mini cakes with them. They last at least two weeks for me without going bad at all. I also love love love green onions. I could seriously eat them on almost anything. Before I started cutting and chopping my produce when I brought it home, they always went bad and got thrown away. I started chopping them and keeping them in tupperware containers. They lasted longer, but I still always had to throw some away. The ever faithful clever Pinterest introduced me to my new way of handling green onions and I’ll never go back. I saw a pin where someone suggested chopping green onions, storing them in a plastic bottle, and freezing them. They shake out super easy for any recipe. I’ll seriously never go back to any other way! I use a Wal-mart brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil bottle. Be sure to use a funnel to transfer them from cutting board to bottle or you’ll go crazy. I use a funnel and then shove them down with a wooden skewer. I even use the frozen green onions in cold dishes like chicken and tuna salad. They thaw quickly being so small and add the exact same flavor as fresh. 
I also use meal prep days to do any do ahead things that I can for that weeks meals. This often involves making chicken stock and/or shredded chicken. 
Every month or so I make my own chicken stock in the crock pot and freeze some. I use Skinnytaste’s recipe and it’s yummy and flawless. Every few weeks I also make shredded chicken in the crock pot. It freezes perfectly to use in meals like tacos, enchiladas, casseroles, or on salads. If I’m not making stock, and just making shredded chicken I just throw three frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot with an onion (peeled, cut in half, ends on), a couple of green onions (I used the wilting ends and the least pretty ones from the pack), minced garlic, and a good bit of Tony’s. Cover the chicken with water, filling the crock pot almost to the top. Cook on high for 6 hours, let cool and shred. This week I’m using it in the previously mentioned Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole and probably some leftovers for a quick salad topping.
I also like to make breakfast and snack options for the week on meal prep days. If I don’t have my faithful fat free sour cream mixed with a dry ranch packet I always make that. I cut cucumbers and fruit for easy dipping and snacking. I make flavored cream cheese for bagels, freeze banana for chocolate covered banana bites, make homemade bread crumbs for recipes, prepare a batch crustless breakfast quiches, boil eggs and more! This week I made Frozen Yogurt Bites.
Have you ever bought a bunch of yogurt to counteract the effects of an antibiotic, get tired of said yogurt and then realzie it’s about to go bad? Oh.. Yeah. Maybe that’s just me who gets weird post antibiotic mouth sicknesses that normally only happen to babies. Well… maybe you’ve bought a bunch of yogurt because it was on sale at Kroger for a 10 for 10 deal? That seems more likely and normal. If so, this is a great way to use up yogurt! Or if you are like me and don’t really like yogurt but know you should eat it because it’s good for you, try this. It’s way more enjoyable to eat. I used four different kinds of Yoplait, Cherry Orchid, Orange Creamsicle, Vanilla, and Harvest Peach. I emptied each container in its own sandwich sized ziplock. I just barely cut the tip off one corner and piped little yogurt rounds onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. I stuck them in the freezer for a few hours until they were frozen enough to peel off and store in a gallon ziplock. I also imagine kids would love these. They are sweet, creamy, frozen refreshing treats. 
Last, but not least. I always try to make some sort of lunch option. I have my faithful deli meat to rely on, but I just cannot eat a turkey sandwich every day. I often mix up a batch of apple and boiled egg tuna salad or grapes and sage chicken salad. Fruit chicken salads are my favorite! Gimme apples, grapes, or cranberries, toss in some celery, sage, and nuts and I’m a happy camper. However, I recently discovered a delicious twist on chicken salad! Avocado. I already don’t do much mayo if any in my normal chicken salad. I use greek yogurt, fat free sour cream, or fat free mayo. But this chicken salad requires none of the above! 
It’s so yummy and earthy and just perfect. It’s great on wheat bread, pretzel chips, tortilla chips, carrot chips, a spoon, a finger… The avocado provides the perfect creaminess. Lime juice keeps it fresh and the avocado from browning as well as adds a little more wetness. I found the idea on pinterest and tweaked it to be my own. I did most of the flavors to taste and I suggest you do the same. I’ll guesstimate on my measurements for a base though. 
Avocado Chicken Salad

1 13 oz can of chicken breast 
2 ripe avocados
1-2 tbsp lime juice
2-3 tbsp chopped green onions
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
Open and drain the canned chicken. Separate and break apart the chicken in a medium sized bowl with a fork. Cut avocados in half and separate. Remove seed. Leaving the avocado skin on, cut three slices long ways, not going all the way through the skin. Cut across in the other direction three times, making the avocado look like little squares inside the skin. You should be able to turn the skin inside out and have the pieces fall right into your bowl. If they get stuck, simply use a spoon to scrape all the avocado flesh out. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Serve as a dip, on a sandwich, or on top of salad greens. 
Remember. Cooking doesn’t have to be such a chore! The more prep work you do, the easier meals and cooking are for the rest of the week. Don’t be afraid to pull up a cutting board and trash bowl to the bar and sit while you do it! Find ways to make cooking, planning, and preparation more enjoyable. 

Sunday Brunch

As promised, I’m back! Thanks for not giving up on me. Pneumonia is a beast! All I ate for two week was Chicken and Stars, Easy Mac, and chocolate pudding cups. This weekend was one of the first times I’ve felt like cooking since the sickness attack. Now, I know I’m really better.
Last night I made an extra green and lean shepherd’s pie for St. Patrick’s Day! I’m getting better at food pictures I think. Yes, I know I go a little collage crazy, but hey, I’m a kindergartner at heart. And you guys love me anyway right? (If you want the recipe, just ask! I could easily post it.)
This morning I got up and made these amazing, tasty, EASY banana pancake muffins! I have a new favorite healthy food blogger: Emily Bites. She is amazing. She does creative and different Weight Watcher friendly recipes. I got these banana pancake muffins from her! I only made very few changes from her recipe. Also, after reading her post to make these cutie muffins, I’ve totally had the Jack Johnson Banana Pancakes song stuck in my head ALL day. 
Banana Pancake Muffins

I added more banana that she did and I used sugar free syrup. With the sugar free syrup swap (verses the light that she used) I got it to be lower points according to the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder! Her version was 4 points per serving (4 mini muffins) and mine was 3 points per serving. 
1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix
2/3 cup skim milk
2/3 cup sugar free breakfast syrup
1 1/2 large ripe bananas, chopped into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a mini muffin tin with butter flavored baking spray. Stir Bisquick mix, syrup, and milk together until smooth. Chop the banana into small pieces. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture into each muffin tin. Divide mixture evenly into the 24 cups. Add banana pieces onto each cup. Depending on the size, I put about 4-6 pieces in each cup. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. 
It makes 24 muffins, 6 servings of 4 muffins each. Each muffin is 1 points or 3 points per serving. They are the perfect sweetness for me, but if you want extra sweetness you could dust with powdered sugar or serve with extra syrup for drizzling or dipping. I had mine with some fresh strawberries and yogurt! A perfect little Sunday brunch. 

Did I mention that I’m loving this whole church on Sunday nights thing? Sunday brunch just feels luxurious and relaxing. Relaxing should take place on the Sabbath day right? I’m going with it. Now I have these sweet cutie muffins as a breakfast option for all week as well! Oh how I love prep work. And preparing healthy breakfast or lunch options to have for the week. I decided to go ahead and make my faithful crustless quiches as well while I was having a happy Sunday baking day. I used my same base recipe (linked above), but changed them up a bit. I made them big guys instead of little guys. I used fiesta 2% cheese instead of Parmesan and American, added an extra sauteed onion to make them super sweet and oniony, and added some chopped tomatoes. According to the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder they are only 2 points each! For a big filling egg muffin that’s not bad! Using a big muffin tin makes 12. 
I’ll give you one more to grow on! Just because I’ve been good about taking pictures, tried some pretty yummy things, and it fits with the brunch theme (even though I kinda sorta ate it as a dessert, oops). 

Holy cow this is good. Like I said, I actually ate it for dessert! But it’s totally a breakfast food! I got the recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, another healthy food blogger I love. I pretty much used her recipe exactly except she does vegan and I don’t. I’ll post my version, but for the original just see the link above.

1/2 cup rolled oats (I used the whole grain quick cooking kind)
3/4 cup skim milk
1 banana, smashed
1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Splenda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and cook uncovered over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally. I sprinkled some chocolate chips (a very small handful, less than 1/4 cup) over top and stirred them in just slightly. It’s a lot! Two people could eat this as a dessert or one for a hearty, filling breakfast. It’s 10 points for the entire serving, 5 for half. I also topped it with a little fat free Cool Whip for 0 points.

Try these out for your next breakfast or brunch. We should have a big brunch pot luck party. That would be fun.

Something New

Hello friends and readers who have probably given up on me and my ability to post. Yes, it’s been almost another month with no posts! Have I been making fabulous healthy (mostly) meals? Yes! Have I posted them? No! Have I taken pictures of them to post them? Some… Some of them were too tasty for me to take a break long enough to photograph.

I really am trying to be proactive at being a better blogger! I even read an article on food blogging tips that a wonderful friend gave me. I’m gonna start by committing to twice a week. At least one recipe post a week and the other could also include a recipe or some healthy eating/planning tips, possibly a favorite new product or snack, or maybe a DIY project! On the non-recipe post days I’ll probably share my two week meal plan (which consists of 5 meals for 2 weeks usually) and if there are any recipes from that list you want, just let me know!

I have learned the value of friends, support, and community in everything, EVEN the eating healthy weight loss journey. I love love love getting ideas from people. I know I’m gifted in the meal planning area and I know I need to stop keeping my ideas to myself! I promise to share more. We need each other! I’m back on Weight Watchers and pushing forward on the journey to be healthier and in the process smaller. I, a lover of food, cannot do this healthy eating thing unless it’s creative and yummy. Weekly I discover new amazing, healthy, yummy thing.

So today, to kick off my attempt at being a better blogger I share a simple sweet fix recipe.


Mini Microwave Minute Cake
This is a super easy, versatile healthy cake fix! Our Weight Watchers coach told us you can mix an angel food cake with any box cake mix in a Ziploc and mix 1/3 a cup with 3 tablespoons of water for a single serving, sweet tooth satisfying, cake that is only 5 points plus! Great info that I of course ran with and made my own. I used an orange cake mix and the angel food, poured in the Ziploc, shook and shook a little more for extra fun and calorie burning and keep it in my pantry for a quick non-guilty indulgence! I keep frozen peaches (the no added sugar kind) on hand and it’s strawberry season…. Perfect zero point cake toppings! I thawed 1/2 cup of peaches in the microwave and stirred in some sliced strawberries and Splenda. I let that get all happy and juicy while I mixed and fake baked my cake. I used a combination of unsweetened applesauce and water instead of all water. Even though there are very limited ingredients and it could be a one bowl dish, I wanted to turn mine out and not eat it in the dish, so I mixed mine separately and then poured it into a Pam sprayed ramekin, like this one that I got in a 4 pack set from Wal-mart for super cheap. You may want to put a napkin under your dish because mine overflowed a bit. I topped with a 1/2 tablespoon of fat free sweet condensed milk for an extra point (SO worth it). I poured over the happy juicy strawberries and peaches, then added 2 tablespoons of fat free cool whip (0 points) on the fruit. SO satisfying. 6 points total and a NICE portion! 
For my version: 
  • 1 Duncan Hines Orange Supreme Cake Mix (or cake mix of your choice)
  • 1 Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake Mix
Mixed and stored in air tight container. 
  • 1/3 of cake mixture
  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1/2 tbsp far free sweet condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup thawed, frozen peaches
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries 
  • 5 Splenda packets
  • 2 tbsp fat free Cool Whip
Mix strawberries and peaches with Splenda, let flavors combine and juice. Mix cake, applesauce, and water. Pour into sprayed microwave dish. Microwave for 1 minute. Top with condensed milk, fruit, and cool whip. 
Tomorrow is grocery shopping day! I love that day. My list is made and my meals for the next two weeks planned. All recipes will be skinnied and weight watcher friendly!
1. Mexican Chicken Casserole & Black Bean & Salsa Green Salad
2. Crockpot Honey Bourbon Chicken, Healthy “Fried” Rice, & Edamame 
3. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps (with leftover Honey Bourbon Chicken) & Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls
4. Parmesan Tilapia, Roast Potatoes & Lemon Peppered Asparagus
5. Shepherd’s Pie & White Cheddar Broccoli 

Like I said, I won’t be posting all recipes! I’m being practical. I’m sharing meals plans to assist in your own creative meal plans. HOWEVER, I’m always willing to send a recipe your way. Feel free to comment, Facebook, or email me if you want a specific recipe listed. Thanks for being faithful! Stay focused, healthy eating is way better!