Monday, April 21, 2014

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert {4 WW Pts. +}

Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a delicious lower sugar, weight watchers friendly dessert.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert (also known as Strawberry Pretzel Salad) is a light and refreshing spring/summer dessert that's been around forever, but never gets old.  In order to reduce the calories, fat and sugar content of this recipe, I made some substitutions and loved the result!

Double this for a 9x13 pan and a surefire potluck hit.  For a festive Memorial Day or Forth of July dessert, add at handful of blueberries in with the strawberries. 
 
Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
Ingredients:
3/4 cups crushed pretzels
2 Tbsp. Splenda
1/3 c. light butter, melted
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) packages light cream cheese
1 1/2 c. Cool Whip, thawed
1 small pkg. sugar-free strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
2-3 ice cubes
8 oz. strawberries, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix together the pretzels, 2 tablespoons Splenda and melted butter. Press into the bottom of an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the 1/2 cup Splenda, vanilla and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.  (Make sure you seal the edges of the pan with the cream mixture so the gelatin layer doesn't leak through).  Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin mix and boiling water. Add ice cubes to help it cool faster.  Mix in strawberries. Pour over cream cheese mixture in pan. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 1 hour.
4 WW Points + for 1/16th of recipe.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Sweet Garlic and Herb Pork Tenderloin


Sweet garlic and herb pork tenderloin is good enough for company!
Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite cuts of meat.  When cooked properly, it's tender and juicy and melts in your mouth which is not a characteristic you normally find in such a lean cut of meat.  It's also one of those things that I don't think to make. 

That's why I was excited to find this recipe from Lick the Bowl Good.  This Sweet Garlic Herb Pork Tenderloin recipe takes your basic tenderloin and kicks it up a notch to a company worthy dish. Monica has awesome step by step instructions on her blog and an amazing selection of dessert recipes so go check her out.

Normally, I like to mix things up a bit, but the only thing I did differently was to marinate the pork in the fridge for a bit to enhance the flavor.   I used herbs de Provence because I had some on hand that I have been anxious to try out.  You could also use rosemary or thyme.    

This recipe serves 6-8 depending on your family.  We have 2 adults and 2 small children so we had enough for dinner and shredded the rest to make pork bbq sandwiches later. 

The entire family enjoyed this recipe and went back for seconds so I'll be adding this to the regular rotation. 

Sweet Garlic & Herb Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients:
2 pork tenderloins, about 2 lbs. total
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced into thin pieces
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 Tbsp. honey
2 T. fresh orange juice (or grapefruit juice)
1 1/2 tsp dried herbs de Provence (thyme or rosemary)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 T. olive oil

Directions:
  1. In a gallon zipper bag combine, soy sauce, mustard, honey OJ, herbs, pepper and olive oil.  Seal bag and shake to combine.
  2. Remove tenderloins from package, rinse and pat dry.  Cut 1 inch slits into front and back of tenderloins.  Place garlic pieces in the slits.  Add tenderloins to bag.  Remove air from bag and seal.  Marinate 2-4 hours.
  3. Empty tenderloins AND marinade into greased 9x13 pan.   Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350° or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part reads 160-165°.  Baste at least once while cooking.  If juices start to dry up, add some hot chicken broth, a little at a time.  Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to tenderloins to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. When serving, slice into 3/4 - 1 inch slices and spoon juice over the top.  
This would be delicious on a bed of rice!
WW- 8 servings @ 5 Points + each (I entered all ingredients into WW recipe builder.)

Printable Recipe



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup is a quick, easy and hearty.

Every once in a while a recipe comes along that is so good that you sit around counting the days until you get to make it again.  This creamy slow cooker tortellini soup is one of those recipes.  I made it while the hubs was out of town and I'm not going to lie... I ate the entire crockpot full myself.  It took a few days, but I savored every bowlful!  It was like lasagna in soup form.

Honestly, I was really surprised by how much I loved the mushrooms in this because I'm not a huge mushroom fan.  I like them, but I don't love them if that makes sense.  In this soup they were amazing and added some rusticness... I totally made that up, but they were good.  Really good.

I altered the original recipe that I'd found on Heather Likes Food  slightly to make it a little easier to prepare.   I like a lot of spinach so I use the entire bag.  If you're not a fan, add half or skip it all together.   There are a lot of ways you can change this up based on what's in your pantry and what mood you're in.

Give this a try and let me know what you think!

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup
Recipe
24 oz. jar spaghetti with meat sauce or regular sauce mixed with 1/2 lb browned Italian sausage or beef
2-3 oz. pepperoni, diced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (fresh)
4 c. beef broth
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 (4.5 oz.) bag spinach leaves, chopped
16 oz. frozen cheese tortellini

Directions:
  1. In a slow cooker combine sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, beef broth and cream cheese.  Cook 2 hours on high or until mushrooms are done.  Stir well to mix up cream cheese. 
  2. Add spinach leaves and tortellini.  Cook 30 more minutes on high.  
  3. Serve with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese. 
Adapted from: Heather Likes Food



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Skinny Monterrey Chicken


Skinny Monterrey Chicken is a favorite food without the guilt.

Monterrey Chicken is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken.  Seriously, bacon, cheese onions, what's not to love?

This version is what I came up with to get my fix while sticking with the Weight Watchers plan. You still get all of the flavors of the regular dish without the guilt.  Sauteed mushrooms and fresh tomatoes are super yummy in this dish, but the hubs isn't a fan.   Some day I will convert him...

I also LOVE this grilled, but this oven version is just as quick.  Cooking this at 450 degrees keeps the chicken really moist while crisping the outside slightly.

We served this up with a green salad with strawberries, blue berries, red onion, pecans, low fat feta cheese and a strawberry vinaigrette.  The combination was very filling!

Skinny Monterrey Chicken - 6 Points +
Ingredients
4-5 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (1 1/2 lbs.)
seasoning: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, & onion powder
1/3 c. barbecue sauce (I used Kraft.)
2 slices precooked bacon, reheated and crumbled
1/3 - 1/2 c. fat free cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions, diced
(optional add-ons- tomatoes, mushrooms)

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with olive oil/ cooking spray.
  2. If desired, lightly pound chicken so that it is more uniform in thickness.  Spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Sprinkle seasoning over each side of chicken.  (I use a lot of paprika.) 
  3. Place on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and turn chicken over.
  5. Bake 5 more minutes.  
  6. Spoon equal amounts of barbecue sauce over each piece chicken.  Sprinkle with bacon and onions, topping all of it with cheese.
  7. Return to oven and bake 5 more minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quick and Easy Brunch Recipes to Make This Weekend!

Quick and easy brunch recipes make your weekends even better. 

I seriously love a good breakfast casserole, but I don't love spending Saturday morning in the kitchen frying meat and chopping veggies.  I want something that can be assembled by the time the coffee is made because not much else happens around here until momma gets her coffee. 

These recipes are my favorite tried and true recipes that can be made with precooked meats, mixes and canned biscuits and cinnamon rolls. 


This Sweet Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Casserole has over 22,000 pins and is one of my go to breakfast recipes.  I lightened it up a bit with egg substitute.


Because it was so popular, I came up with a Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Casserole which uses pumpkin butter and pumpkin spice coffee creamer.  I actually prefer it to the original.


Another sweet breakfast favorite is Monkey Bread.  This version is simple and quick, using canned biscuits.


This Bacon, Egg and Cheese Casserole goes together in a flash and tastes a lot like your favorite breakfast sandwich!


If you like a good, hearty breakfast, you'll love the Farmer's Breakfast Casserole with hash browns, sausage, bacon, cheese and eggs.  Everything is premade so you just have to assemble it. 


If you're trying to cut back on calories, these Sausage and Egg Muffins are perfect.  They're full of flavor and can be made ahead.

Now that I've shared some of my favorites, I'd love to hear about yours!  Leave a comment below to share a recipe or link!


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