Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dish is so easy to make, it is perfect for gatherings or parties!

Ingredients:

2 cans chopped chicken, rinsed and drained
1/2 block cream cheese ( I used 1/3 fat )
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup ranch dressing ( I used low fat )
Louisiana hot sauce to taste – you could use all of this, or half of this. Up to you.
1/2 cup Chopped green onions, optional. I had some on hand.

Directions:
Toss all in crock pot and turn on, stirring occasionally 🙂

Use with any sort of chip, bread, or veggies if you want to go healthy.

Avocado Tomato Pasta Salad

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Oh wow. This was insanely good. I made it up pretty much.

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked pasta
1 avocado
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 TBS olive oil
2 limes, juiced
3 garlic cloves, diced or mashed
Salt
Pepper
2 TBS basil, chopped
Dash of oregano

Directions:

Cook pasta

In separate bowl, combine olive oil, avocado, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano.

When pasta is cooked, drain, and mix in the other ingredients. Toss in tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Breakfast Quinoa

This dish is SO DARN GOOD! I cannot get over how amazing it tasted. Sweet but hearty, and a little nutty all at once. I am IN LOVE with this. Make it. You won’t be disappointed.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp. Truvia

1 cup quinoa: soak for 10 minutes first, then rinse in strainer.

2 cups pitted quartered cherries

2 tablespoons TOASTED sliced or slivered almonds (or nut of choice)

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 mashed up banana

Dash of cinnamon when served, and a dollop of pure maple syrup or agave if you wish.

Directions:

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook 15-25 minutes. Quinoa is done when most of the liquid is soaked up -much like cooking rice.

While milk is coming to a boil, toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant, which should only take a few minutes.

Remove quinoa from heat, add in mashed banana, and chia seeds. Stir. Depending on consistency you prefer, you may want to add a dash more of almond milk.

Top with almonds and cherries; cinnamon and syrup and serve warm!

8 Points Plus Pizza

We like to eat pizza about once a week. Typically I use a small whole wheat pre baked crust I get at Golden Harvest. It’s only about 8-10 inches, and whole wheat so I figure it’s a lot better than other options. We split it, so it’s four small pieces. I guess at about 10 points for this.

Today though I bought La Tortilla Whole Wheat Wraps ( again at Golden Harvest), to use as a crust so I could count the points exactly. I wound up with an 8 point pizza! Not bad.

Ingredients:
1 La Tortilla Whole Wheat Wrap
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/4 cup lower fat mozzarella
8 slices turkey pepperoni

Optional: garlic, spinach ( I mixed a clove of fresh pressed garlic in the sauce, and put the spinach piled on top )

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes, be sure to check often! I took it out when the crust started getting brown in the edge. I imagine all ovens and pizza pans work different. I actually used a stone. It was tricky getting in and out, since the tortilla is so thin.

Be sure to check the points on your cheese and sauce, some may be more than others.

I ate it with a huge salad, and am feeling fairly satisfied! The “crust” was a little sad, but hey,it tasted like pizza, and that’s all I really needed.

Veggie, Cheesy, De-LITEFUL Lasagna!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
Optional: zucchini or squash diced
1/4 cup tomato sauce
5 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons low fat Parmesan cheese

About 6 lasagna noodles, cooked. (I used spinach ones I got at the health food store)

2 tablespoons parsley for garnish at end (dried or fresh)

Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, or longer if you want more carmalized: 5-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.

Cook noodles while browning onions as directed. (Big pot of boiling water)

Heat oven to 375

Layer sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce… Top with parm. Place in oven (uncovered) and bake for 35 minutes (until things start bubbling up hot!)

Douse with parsley.

Serve.

This made us dinner for TWO nights – a great big HUGE hunk, too. When I put the recipe into WW Points Plus, it came to 7pts for each serving (serves 4).

Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Let me tell you the many ways I love Steel Cut Oats! They are amazing. If you don’t know what they are… here we go. They are the original, un-processed form of OATMEAL. Instead of being rolled, crushed, flattened and dried, they are beautiful little nuggets. And because they are less-processed, they stay with you longer! Now, I have never really loved oatmeal. Sure, give me a packet of Quaker Instant Oats with Maple/Brown Sugar (and add a scoop of brown sugar..), and I’ll gobble it down. But, I may as well have eaten a Snickers bar, really. Steel Cut Oats now, these are entirely different. They have FLAVOR and TEXTURE! I love their nuttiness, and the nice little nugget they are.

Lately I have been making a pot of SCO each Sunday, and packing up portions for the morning. Works great. But, I found this recipe for using the Slow Cooker I couldnt pass up. I was running out of time in the evening to make a pot, so this was perfect, and really – tons faster and easier!

So, here we go….

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 Apples of your choice. Cored, and chopped up into 1/2ish chunks. About 3 cups worth. You can peel also, if you wish. This is the part that takes the longest of this whole receipe.

2 cups Milk – use any kind of milk here you want. Skim, whole, almond, coconut… Personally, I used coconut because I had an overabundance of it.

2 cups water.

2 packets of Truvia, or similar sugar substitue (stevia based) – or, if you are wild & crazy, use 2 TB brown sugar.

1 TB Chia seeds. OK, this is optional. But I really love my chia seeds.

1/2 tsp Cinammon (or more!)

1/4 tsp salt (or less!)

1 cup uncooked steel cut oats!

p.s. I added 1 mashed up banana. Optional.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all of the above into a bowl.

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. This is Very Important. You will probably still have some sticking, but it helps.

Toss everything into crock pot.

Cover & cook on low for 7 hours.

Awakend to a wonderful breakfast made just for you! I typically top with some nuts and maybe an extra splash of milk.

I portion out the oats into about 1 cup portions and toss in the fridge. Then in the morning the rest of the week – a little splash of milk and a couple minutes in the micro and I have a wonderful, totally healthy breakfast.

TRY IT!

Recipe: Carmalized Onion Toast

This is based off a Tapas plate we get at Sangria in Sarasota. We have recently discovered it, and it is super yum.

Ingredients:
1 sweet onion
Olive oil
Balsamic glaze (optional)
Goat cheese
French bread of some sort, sliced into 6 pieces, about 1/2 inch thick.

Directions:
In a large pan, drizzle 2 tbs olive oil and heat to medium.

Meanwhile, slice up onion into slices. Doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, you could do a rough chop, too, as they cook down to very little.

Add onion to pan, and stir. Continue to stir periodically, taking care not to but the onions. Heat at medium is good, though I continued to lower the heat. Keep watching and stirring occasionally until onions get all brown and gooey.

I then added a dash of salt and a splash of balsamic glaze… This is optional.

Heat oven to 350, and quickly crisp the sliced bread. Let cool.

Once the bread is cool, layer on some goat cheese, and then top with onions.

The sweet onions with the tang of balsamic and the creamy goat cheese make for a wonderful few bites! A great little appetizer to start off an evening.

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Recipe: Walnut Molasses Pie

This came from Taste of Home years ago, and I hung onto it after making it the first time. So easy to make, but high in calories! Take care with portion size. I made this for work recently, and it got raves!

Ingredients

3 eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Directions

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, molasses and vanilla until blended; stir in walnuts. Pour into pastry shell. Cover edges with foil.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes; remove foil. Bake 12-17 minutes longer or until top of pie is et and crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before cutting. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 537 calories, 30 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 105 mg cholesterol, 242 mg sodium, 63 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.

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Crock Pot Recipe: Turkey Taco Chili

I made this up on my own, though I’m sure there are many similar recipes out there. We are always looking for new ways to make healthy dinners, and ground turkey isn’t our favorite. But, this is super yummy! Also, crock pot anything is my best friend.

Ingredients:

Onion
1 lb. ground lean turkey
Taco seasoning
Can of pinto beans, or any kind
Small can mexican corn
Small can green chilis
Small can chopped black olives
2 cups water
Dash of chili peppers
Dash of salt

Directions:

Chop up 1 onion in big chunks. Put in bottom of crock pot.
Add ground turkey, mixed up
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Add taco seasoning to water, mix, then dump in crock pot

Cover, and cook on low 8 hrs. Salt & pepper to taste.

Stir and enjoy! I added a bit of cheese on my serving, along with a few tortilla chips.

Recipe: Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini

I have recently become a fan of Quinoa. People seem afraid of it, but it is so yummy, and really just as easy to make as rice. I brought this dish to work the other day, and people RAVED about it! I think I’ve turned many onto this awesome grain. Give it a try!

INGREDIENTS:
1 large avocado, ripe
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro

1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
2 cups quinoa, cooked, room temperature (1 cup uncooked quinoa)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (or any nut you like…)
1/4 cup feta (or goat or whatever you have on hand…)

DIRECTIONS:
Soak 1 cup uncooked quinoa for 15 minutes. Then rinse for 3 minutes.
On stovetop, mix your 1 cup uncooked quinoa, with 1 ¼ cup water. Bring to boil. Reduce to low, cover, and simmer 35 minutes. (depending on how you like your quinoa, reduce water. I usually use only 1cup, I like mine a little crunchy). Let cool to room temperature.
Blend avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender and set aside.
Chop up zucchini into chunks nice sized for grilling. Then toss it with olive oil, garlic and salt. I grilled the zucchini in foil for about 15 minutes.
Mix everything together, and add the nuts & cheese at the end. Enjoy!
Serves 4 to 6.