Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Creamy Home-Style Chicken Soup

We are having a rainy and cool spring day here in Texas. Made me want a bowl of warm soup. This take on chicken noodle soup is so satisfying that it will please even the pickiest eater. Plus it is loaded with veggies, which makes it that much better. Enjoy!

  • 4 (14- ounce) cans of fat- free, less- sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (10 ¾ ounce) cans condensed reduced fat, reduced sodium cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 4 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken (I shred my chicken)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots (I used frozen peas since I had them on hand)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry.
  • 4 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles(I use whole wheat wide egg noodles)
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a dutch oven or large pot; bring to a boil. 
  2. Stir in spinach and noodles; cook 5-7 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Nutritional Information:
Yields 12 servings. 4 Weight Watcher Points + per 1 cup serving
156 cals, 3.2 g fat, 14.1 carbs, 17.8g protein, 1.6g fiber. 

Recipe from Weight Watchers five ingredients 15 minute cookbook, 2005 

Monday, March 28, 2011


Right after the race with my Finisher metal.
Yesterday I participated in and completed my first half marathon! I ran in the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon as part of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. The entire experience was so uplifting and fulfilling. Looking at all the people running was such an inspiration and motivation to keep going an to push myself. I was able to run the entire 13.1 miles with out stopping and my over all chip time was 02:21:15. I trained for 10 weeks and followed this program.

In addition to running the half marathon,  I raised funds for the world’s largest breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Through the generosity of friends and family I have raised $1,430.00 to date. A special thank you to all who donated! Please know that your donations are going to such a great cause. Throughout the race I saw so many men and women running in honor of or in memory of their loved ones who have suffered with breast cancer. The most inspirational ones where the women who had survivor bibs on, how awesome is that to overcome and beat breast cancer. It was an honor to be apart of Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure! If you would still like to make a donation my personal page will be up for one month post race date (April 27, 2011).

I also wanted to say thank you to my friend Caroline for encouraging me to sign up and also for training with me. I could not have done the long runs with out  you! Also a big thank you to my husband Alan and my sister-in-law Susan for getting up early and cheering us on throughout the race! You guys are awesome! Here are few photos taken by Alan of the day's activities.
Trying to stay warm before the race
Caroline and I at the start line.

Me at the 9 mile mark. Feeling good!
Thank you to all who donated!

Me and Caroline at the Susan G. Komen tent.
They rolled out the pink carpet!

Finish line was at Texas Fair Park
 The whole experience was awesome! Thanks Caroline for pushing me to sign up, I am glad I did it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spanish Chicken and Rice

My husband and I are traveling to Spain this spring and after looking at all the wonderful local cuisines that Spain offers I thought would try to find a diet friendly recipe that mimics some of the local flavors. This dish can be made spicier by substituting rotel for the diced tomatoes or adding more chili powder. Next time I make this dish I will be adding more spice. You could also add shrimp and scallops if you so desired to make it more like traditional Paella.

  • 1 clove garlic clove, crushed     
  • 2 medium onions, chopped     
  • 1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced   
  • 2 cups water     
  • 14 1/2 oz canned tomatoes, whole, peeled and chopped     
  • 5 1/2 oz uncooked wild rice, long grain   
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric   
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder, or to taste     
  • 1/2 medium sweet red pepper, chopped     
  • 1/2 medium green pepper, chopped    (I just used 1 whole red pepper and omitted the green pepper)  
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced   (I omitted this ingredient)   
  • 2/3 cup frozen green peas
  1. Spray a large nonstick frying pan with cooking spray, heat, then brown garlic, onions and chicken.
  2. Add water, tomatoes, rice, turmeric and chili powder. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add peppers and celery and simmer 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add peas and simmer until rice and peas are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust liquid if necessary.

Nutritional Information: 

4 servings at 8 points+ per serving.

Recipe from weightwatchers.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grilled Pork and Veggie Skewers

These are great for the summer grilling season. With endless combinations of veggies and meat, you can truly make this dish your own. You can make them for two or an entire crowd. Host a "Build Your Own Kebab" party and simply cut up different veggies and meats and let your guests make their own kebab to order, or make them ahead of time for a great appetizer.

  • 1lb pork tenderloin, trimmed (I used beef)
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 2 plum tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
  • 12 Cremini or white mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • (I added red bell pepper and some leftover red onion to mine)

  1. Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Preheat grill to medium-high. 
  2. Soak wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes to prevent meat and veggies from sticking to them.
  3. Cut pork into 1 1/2" cubes, cut chinning into 1 1/2" pieces, and quarter each tomato. Thread pork, mushrooms, zucchini, and tomatoes alternately on wooden skewers; sprinkle with Italian seasoning. 
  4. Place kebabs on grill rack and grill, turning every 2 minutes, until cooked through, 6-7 minutes.
Nutritional Information:
1 serving is 1 Kebab = 4 weight watcher points+
160 cal, 3g fat, 7g carbs, 2 fiber, 25g protein

Recipe from Just 5, 125 recipes with 5 ingredients. By: Weight Watchers 2011 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo

This is a great weeknight recipe that can easily be a main meal or a complementary side dish for grilled chicken. It is quick, easy , and is sure to please any crowd. 
  • 8 oz uncooked no-yolk dumplings
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
  • 2 large garlic gloves, minced (I used 4 because I like garlic)
  • 1- 10oz container light Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped.
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Cook dumplings according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. drain and keep warm.
  2. In larch skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute mushrooms 2 minutes or until soft. 
  3. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add Alfredo sauce and next 3 ingredients. Warm through.
  4. Stir in spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. 
  5. In a large bowl, combine dumplings and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and black pepper; toss well. 
Nutritional Information:
Yields four 1 1/2 cup servings.
6 Weight Watcher points+ per serving
222 calories, 10g fat, 11g protein, 20.7 carbs, 1g fiber

Recipe from Weight Watchers 20 Minute Recipes, 2009

Friday, March 18, 2011

Summer Beer

Thought I would share this with you since the weather is getting warmer and we are starting to spend more time outdoors. Summer beer is a great warm weather adult beverage. It is quick, easy, and tasty! Great  for barbecues, picnics, float trips, or simply hanging out with friends.

  • 4-5 cans of lite beer (4= sweeter and 5= less sweet)
  • 4 shots vodka (optional)
  • 1 can of lemonade frozen concentrate 
  • Fresh lemons for garnish (optional)
  1. Mix beer, vodka, and lemonade concentrate in pitcher. 
  2. Garnish with lemon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spicy Beef Tacos

This is a quick and easy meal, great for week nights. You can also easily double recipe for large groups. Make it your own by adding your favorite condiments and toppings.

  • 2 cloves, minced     
  • 1 pound uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)   
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin Seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander   
  • 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with jalapenos or green chilies  
  • 8 small corn tortillas, lightly toasted just before serving if desired (I used mission carb smart tortillas)
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded   
  • 1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp-variety ( I used 2% Mexican blend) 

  1. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Add beef; cook until browned, breaking up meat as it cooks, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add cumin, coriander, salt and diced tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Place tortillas on a flat surface. Top each with about 1/4 cup beef, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon cheese and 2 teaspoons salsa. Fold tortillas in half and serve. Yields 2 tacos per serving.
Nutrition Information:
Each serving has 7 Points+. Makes 4 servings. 

Recipe from weightwatchers.com 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I love Penzeys Spices

I was introduced to Penzeys Spices by my Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law during one of our trips to LA for a family visit. Ever since that visit Penzeys has become a staple in all our meals and baking.
Penzeys is an Internet based spice catalog that has a few retail stores. I was elated to find out they have one in Dallas. Penzeys has all the basics for cooking and baking, but they also have wonderful blends that you can't find anywhere else. Their prices are comparable to what you find in the grocery store,but the quality is so much better. They also offer a lot of salt free blends that are good for people who are watching their sodium intake but still want flavor.

Some of my favorites:
Money Saving Tips:
If you order the free catalog they tend to send coupons for $5 off a $10 purchase or sometimes they have feature spices that they give you a full size sample of for free. Penzeys also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. So if you buy something and just don't fall in love with it they happily return your money. Can't get any better than that! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

This makes a delicious main meal that you can pair with pasta or veggies.

  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs ( I used Italian flavored bread crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I used garlic powder)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup marinara 
  • 3/4 cup part-skim grated mozzarella cheese


  1. In a shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and garlic salt. In another shallow bowl, beat the egg until frothy.
  2. Wrap chicken breasts in plastic wrap (I used a large zip-lock bag) and place on cutting board. Gently flatten to an even 1/2" thickness with a mallet (I used a rolling pin since I don't have a mallet).
  3. Dredge each chicken breast through egg and then through bread crumb mixture. 
  4. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  5. Spoon marinara onto each breast and add grated mozzarella on top. Cover and reduce heat for about 3 minutes until cheese is melted.
Nutritional Information:
1 serving = 1 Chicken Breast
1 serving = 9 points+
340 calories, 14 grams fat, 13 carbs, 39 protein, 0 grams fiber 
Recipe from Diabetes and You Magazine, Holiday 2010 /Winter 2010  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pistachio Cake

I got this semi- homemade recipe from my Grandmother Dukes a long time ago and thought it would be delicious. So when I was looking for a fun treat for St. Patrick's Day I knew this wound be great.  You can easily make this cake a little more diet friendly by substituting all of the full fat and high calorie ingredients with fat-free or low calorie options instead.

For the Cake
  • 1 Box (18.25 oz) white cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) instant pudding, pistachio flavored
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can lemon-lime soda (such as sprite or 7up)
For the Frosting
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) instant pudding, pistachio flavored 
  •  1 1/2 cups milk
  • 8oz frozen whipped cream, thawed (such as cool whip)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios 
For the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl mix together cake mix, 1 package of pudding, eggs, vegetable oil, and soda.
  3. Place in cake pan of choice and cook according to the directions on the back of the cake mix box.  
  4. After baking remove form oven to cool on wire cooling rack. After 10 minutes invert cake pans to free cake and cool completely.
For the Frosting
  1. Mix milk and remaining package of pudding on high for 2-3 minutes till pudding is thickened. 
  2. Fold in whipping cream and refrigerate till ready to frost cake.  
  3. After frosting garnish with chopped pistachios. 

Baking Tip:
A friend of mine introduced me to cake strips a few years ago and I swear by them. They help your cakes stay level (great when you are doing a tiered cake) and they keep the entire cake moist. So no more dry edges. I highly recommended them for baking! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creamy and Cheesy Chicken Burritos

This is an old recipe I found on weightwatchers.com and it has become a staple in our house. This is my kind of comfort food, cheesy and spicy! I always add a jalapeno for added kick, but you can easily leave it out if you prefer a milder dish.

  • 10 fajita size whole wheat tortillas (you could substitute with corn or white flour tortillas if you prefer)
  • 1 lb uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (I boil mine and then shred the chicken)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp flour 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons light margarine
  • 1 cup shredded 2% Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I use Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Dice cooked chicken into 1/2" pieces (I shred mine)
  3. Mix chicken, Rotel, cilantro, and cumin in bowl.
  4. Melt margarine in saucepan and mix in four until dissolved. Add chicken broth and soup. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Spray 9x11 casserole dish with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup soup mixture into bottom of casserole dish.
  6. Wrap chicken mixture in tortillas and lay in casserole dish. 
  7. cover with remaining soup mixture and sprinkle with cheese. 
  8. Back for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information:
Since this is an old recipe, so I don't have much nutritional information. Serving size is 2 burritos at 8 POINTS (not points+)