Light Asian Broccoli Slaw & Quinoa Salad
Jan21

Light Asian Broccoli Slaw & Quinoa Salad

This deliciously refreshing salad has a little crunch, a little sweet, and a lot of healthy in each bite. And it literally takes TEN minutes to throw together!   I got the idea from my girlfriend, Nicole, who added tortilla chips to my Sweet & Spicy Tuna and Quinoa Salad (my most re-pinned recipe ever!), to make it less “light”. Loving the idea of the crunch, it inspired me to upgrade my Tuna Lunch Salad into a fun Super Bowl Party Salad, with cranberries and almonds. The quinoa absorbs the dressing and adds an interesting texture, not usually found in Chinese Chicken Salads—which started the craze for all the Asian-inspired salads—made with Ramen Noodles, which are higher in carbs, fat, and calories! (Who needs those?!) Did you know that a Chinese Chicken Salad at the Cheesecake Factory is 960 Calories?! They don’t even list the fat or fiber, so it’s impossible to calculate the points. I’m not sure why these cute little ancient grains (pronounced keen-wah) bring me such joy. 🙂 Especially now that you can buy pre-cooked packages at Trader Joe’s! (Love that!)     Mann’s is my favorite Broccoli Slaw because the red cabbage adds color, and I find Trader Joe’s Broccoli Slaw a little tough and unruly! But any brand will do—in fact, you could even use regular cole slaw to change it up.   Love that you can buy already-toasted almonds! Add them at the end to keep the crunch. If you’re not a fan, sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds) will do the job.   Trader Ming’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette rocks! And I love that it doesn’t count on Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling. But you could substitute any light Asian-inspired dressing. If you’re using an Asian-style dressing with oil, you can leave out the sesame oil.   Sesame Oil gives a wonderful, rich flavor, and a little goes a long way. If you don’t have any, leave it out, but it adds a lot to any oriental dish, so it’s a worthy investment!   I use Trader Joe’s organic Dried Cranberries, which are just as tasty and sweet as the regular ones, but lower in calories and sugar. Trader Joe’s organic Dried Cranberries 3 PointsPlus for 1/3 cup (120 calories) Trader Joe’s Dried Cranberries 4 PointsPlus for 1/4 cup (140 calories)   Apple Cider Vinegar blends well with the other flavors, and the little bit of acidity brightens up the dish. If you don’t have any, you could use rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or even a drop of balsamic vinegar. Add Trader Joe’s Just Teriyaki Chicken or Teriyaki Tofu Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu, Teriyaki Flavor to make it a...

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Sweet & Spicy Asian Tuna Salad, with Quinoa
Jan12

Sweet & Spicy Asian Tuna Salad, with Quinoa

This no-cook, low fat, Asian-inspired salad will become your go-to, healthy lunch! I love that I can eat the whole, delicious bowl on Weight Watchers Simple Start without counting points! If you are counting points, the whole salad will only cost you 6 PointsPlus!   Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is one of the healthiest, high-protein ancient grains. It can be a bit of a pain to make, so now that Trader Joe’s has a ready-cooked, frozen version, it’s a great time to try it!   I LOVE the single serve pouches of StarKist Tuna Creations, Sweet & Spicy (2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus). Delish on a bed of lettuce with any Asian dressing, or even with Kraft Fat Free Thousand Island Dressing.   Substitute any chunk light tuna in water, or salmon in water, if you’re doing Weight Watchers Simple Start (or Simply Filling) to keep it all Weight Watchers Power Foods. (Though I think it’s a worthy 2 PointsPlus!) – or – Change it up with Trader Joe’s Organic Marinated Teriyaki Tofu in place of the tuna!   – or – Cut up a Dr. Praeger’s Asian Veggie Burger (3 PointsPlus) I found these awesome burgers at Whole Foods Market, but you can check availability or order them online >>   If you can’t find Broccoli Slaw, any cole slaw mix will do. I’m a huge fan of Trader Ming’s Fat Free Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette, but any low calorie Asian-style dressing will work! 1 PointsPlus for 2 tablespoons (or zero points on Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling)   My other fav is Litehouse Toasted Sesame Ginger Dressing, which I found at Ralph’s Market with the refrigerated dressings. Click here for the Litehouse Foods Store Locator >> (I’m thinking Trader Joe’s might just have re-bottled this exact dressing and slapped a Trader Ming’s Label on it!) 1 PointsPlus for 2 tablespoons (or zero points on Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling)   What’s your favorite low calorie Asian Dressing?   Sweet & Spicy Asian Tuna Salad, with Quinoa 2014-01-12 19:37:34 Serves 1 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for the whole salad. Write a review Save Recipe Print 436 calories 68 g 20 g 7 g 26 g 1 g 227 g 58 g 2 g 0 g 5 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 227g Servings 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 436 Calories from Fat 65 % Daily Value * Total Fat 7g 11% Saturated Fat 1g 6% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 3g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 20mg 7% Sodium 58mg 2% Total Carbohydrates 68g 23% Dietary Fiber 10g 39% Sugars 2g Protein 26g Vitamin A11%Vitamin C127% Calcium10%Iron39% * Percent Daily...

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FIVE Veggie Upgrades and Meal Ideas
Jan09

FIVE Veggie Upgrades and Meal Ideas

Steamed broccoli won’t stop me from reaching for hubby’s pizza, but if I have delicious veggies already prepared, it’s a breeze to stick to Simple Start and feel the Power Foods Love! I hope you’ll be inspired by my quick and easy Veggie Upgrades and satisfying Weight Watchers Simple Start meals!     Simple Roasted Winter Veggies 1 sweet potato, 1 yam, and 4 carrots: peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes. Spray half sheet pan covered with olive oil cooking spray. Spread out veggies in a single layer and spray them with cooking spray. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast at 425 degree F for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown. They’ll be sweet and a little caramelized—yummm!   Turn into a Heart-Warming Winter Salad Toss Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce and Radicchio (or greens of your choice) with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil or Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette (0 WW PP for 2 tablespoons). Top with warm veggies, Turkey Meatballs, halved (Trader Joe’s frozen – 3 WW PP for 2 meatballs), and Parmesan Cheese (1 WW PP for 1 tablespoon) or kick it up a notch with Trader Joe’s Shaved Cheese Blend. (3 WW PP for 2 tablespoons) This is Mr. Picky’s FAVORITE lunch!     TIP: We LOVE slightly sweet and bodacious (can you call vinegar bodacious?), Gourmet Blends Traditional Balsamic Vinegar! I can’t wait for my salad every night because this vinegar is SO special! It’s somewhere between a reduction (like Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze) and a regular balsamic. Just sweet and thick enough! (And it’s ZERO points!)   I get mine at the Calabasas Farmer’s Market, but you can purchase them online at gourmetblends.us >>   Mushroom Madness Sauté sliced mushrooms in a nonstick skillet sprayed with Olive Oil spray; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for 8 – 10 minutes. TIP: Crimini Mushrooms (Baby Portabellas) are meatier and more flavorful than Button Mushrooms, but either will work.   Make it a Mixed Grill This is my go-to, Power Foods, slim-down-fast meal! Add a Boca Original Vegan Veggie Burger, fried egg and sautéed tomato and onion slices cooked in cooking spray in a nonstick skillet. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce and/or mix ketchup and Worcestershire for dipping. – or – Guilt-Free Pasta Add Baby Spinach and Barilla Plus Spaghetti or Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Quinoa Fusilli Pasta, a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese for a light and healthy Pasta Entree. (You’ll only be paying points for the Parmesan: 1 WW PP for 2 tablespoons) – or – Polenta Topping Polenta is a great...

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Weight Watchers Simple Start Works!
Jan06

Weight Watchers Simple Start Works!

Weight Watchers just released their two week, kick-start-your-metabolism program that is guaranteed to work! (If you follow it, of course.) This past Saturday I caught the last meeting of the week (WW runs Sunday through Saturday) where the new Simple Start program was the meeting topic. (Don’t worry, if you’re just joining—or returning—they’ll be happy to go over it with you after any meeting.) Happily, I already dropped three of the FIVE pounds that I gained in the last month—after following Simple Start for just one week. (See, I told you it works!) I’d been struggling to get back on track, after giving in to emotional eating in the unsettled weeks following our incredible trip to South Africa. I can only imagine how many points I inhaled night after night—while listening to my jet-lagged toddler yelling that she will NEVER EVER go to sleep! (Now my hubby understands why I gave him a hard time about bringing all those slabs of chocolate back with us.) It didn’t help that we returned smack-dab in the middle of the holidays (after oddly missing Thanksgivukkah)—landing in Christmas pandemonium and a changed season. No wonder I was out of sorts! And this after being out of my exercise routine for a month—and then getting sick, blah blah blah. (But I don’t have to tell you… you know how it happens.) Each pound that I watched the scale creep up made me feel a little worse and a little more out-of-control, but when I entered a whole new decade, I knew it had to stop! Enter “Simple Start” program I dragged myself to a Weight Watchers meeting, and got on the scale even though I knew it was an all-time hideous high. But like I used to tell my members way back when I was a Weight Watchers Leader: If you don’t like the number you see on the scale, that’s okay because you never have to see it again! Once you’re in the habit of eating chocolate or other full-fat, high-sugar “trigger” foods, it’s hard to break the cycle. That’s why Simple Start is so brilliant: when you focus on wholesome, quality foods, your body miraculously stops craving all that other stuff.  Simple Start is basically Simply Filling (which is how I live my life and how I’ve managed to keep my weight down)—choosing from a list of Weight Watchers Power Foods, which are healthier and more satisfying.     Now, even white potatoes and reduced-calorie breads are included.   The difference is that with Simple Start you get 7 PointsPlus a day for “indulgences”—but they don’t carry over if you don’t use...

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Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Dec18

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

This time of year—when we’re surrounded by tempting treats—this low fat, comforting soup will feel slightly indulgent and satisfy your sweet tooth, without taking you down! And it’s easy enough to make during the week, but special enough to serve for guests.   I was inspired to make this by the 2-pound container of butternut squash chunks (preservative free) at Costco.   You can, of course, just peel, core and cut up a large butternut squash to yield about the same amount. Nothing ever compares to the freshest ingredients that you peel and chop yourself, but sometimes using convenience items is the difference between getting a homemade dinner on the table, or just not attempting anything… so I’ll always opt for using precut veggies to help out when you need it! A touch of curry powder adds an interesting flavor, without overpowering the delicious squash or making it spicy. Trader Joe’s Curry Powder works perfectly in this recipe, but any mild curry powder will do.   “Sweat” the onions first, over low heat, to soften them and release the moisture—without browning them.   Garnish with Low Fat Greek Yogurt to balance the sweetness and add extra protein. If you’re doing Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling, Fat Free Greek Yogurt will keep this a Weight Watchers Power Food. Yummm!! Butternut Squash and Apple Soup 2013-12-18 14:32:41 Serves 6 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving. WW Power Food. Write a review Save Recipe Print 159 calories 28 g 0 g 5 g 4 g 1 g 351 g 59 g 10 g 0 g 5 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 351g Servings 6 Amount Per Serving Calories 159 Calories from Fat 47 % Daily Value * Total Fat 5g 8% Saturated Fat 1g 4% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 59mg 2% Total Carbohydrates 28g 9% Dietary Fiber 5g 19% Sugars 10g Protein 4g Vitamin A322%Vitamin C60% Calcium9%Iron8% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, high quality 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 teaspoon mild curry powder 2 pounds butternut squash chunks (1 large) 2 small golden delicious apples, or other sweet apples 14.5 oz can (2 cups) low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth) kosher salt freshly ground black pepper water Instructions Add olive oil, onions, curry powder, and two large pinches of salt to a large dutch oven or stockpot and cook uncovered, over low heat, for 10 - 15 minutes, until...

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