C’s SALAD OR ANYTHING GOES

I haven’t written in a while. In fact, since our return from Aruba there hasn’t been much free time. In an attempt to reclaim myself and get back into a routine, I felt the need to blog.

I swore when I came home I was going back on Weight Watchers; so I did! Having to wear a bathing suit in Aruba really puts things in perspective. With summer just around the corner, I decided to take a stand. It’s amazing what you can do when you get your head into the game.

I can’t imagine anybody not knowing what Weight Watchers is. I mean, it’s been around since the early 60’s. It was founded by Jean Nidetch of Queens, NY. She began inviting her friends to her home to discuss how best to lose weight. Now millions of people follow this program all over the world. You can still attend meetings and also follow the plan on the web. The program has changed many times over the years. It still offers the same benefits of health and successful weight loss.

I truly hate the word “diet”. As soon as someone mentions the word take a look at the person or people you are talking to. There are the head shakers, the nose wrinklers, the whispers, the laugh under your breath, basically the “non-believers”. So here is something you need to understand. Weight Watchers is a lifestyle not a diet!!!!

At present I have two partners in crime, two of my best friends actually. We all decided to change our “lifestyle” together. One of my friends had lunch for the 3 of us this week which resulted in this salad. She made this and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and what I could put in it. I made it for my husband and myself last night. It was a huge hit with him too.

This salad can pretty much be whatever you want it to be. It’s a fantastic way to use leftover vegies. The addition of beans and the egg are good sources of protein. I added some fruit as well. I have a new-found love for Bolthouse Farms yogurt salad dressings. You can use a lot for few points. I was also recently told about a poppyseed salad dressing from Panera that is 1 point for 4 Tablespoons. I haven’t tried it yet but definitely will.

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Here is a list of what I used. This can be changed up by season and what is fresh. Seriously, this has no limits. For those of you that are lucky enough not to have a weight problem, you can also enjoy this. Vegies are for everyone!!!!!

C's Salad

  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • Spiralized beets, cut into 3 inches (I use scissors for this)
  • Spiralized butternut squash, cut into 3 inches
  • Spiralized zucchini, cut into 3 inches
  • Carrot match sticks
  • Corn kernels (I used frozen and let them thaw to room temp)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Chopped fennel
  • Chopped red pepper
  • Blueberries
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chickpeas
  • All of the above are on the zero points food list, use whatever you like. All of my vegetables are raw.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. I arranged everything in the bowl to make it pretty and eye appealing. I also wanted you to see what was in there.
  2. Serve with your favorite salad dressing. I am into the Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressings. I used the cucumber ranch. Two tablespoons = 1 point. It is a good amount.
  3. Salt and pepper or whatever seasoning you want on your salad.

This would be great for any time. If your hungry it’s a filling meal for little to no points.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

 

 

 

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LIGHTENED UP CHICKEN FRANCESE (by Skinny Taste)

Yes, still in Aruba folks. We have a few days before our last and final crew come. I’m excited for them to get here. This has been a wonderful vacation. In the mean time, we are taking some down time and hanging out. In the mood to cook, I turned to one of my favorites. This Chicken Francese is amazing. It’s also one of my hubby’s favorites.

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While my husband loves this, he doesn’t like it if  it’s “too lemony”. Don’t get me wrong…..I love the extra lemon. In order to have my francese and eat it too, I had to cut back slightly on the lemon. The sauce turned out richly flavored from the chicken broth, white wine, and butter and enough lemon to please both of us. I added some roasted vegetables to round out our meal.

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The recipe below is the exact recipe by Gina Homolka, author of Skinny Taste. She has three cookbooks out. I own all three of them and use them all the time. She is an amazing cook. All of her recipes are big on flavor and light on calories. Check our her cookbooks and do yourself a favor and look her up @ https://www.skinnytaste.com/

CHICKEN FRANCESE LIGHTENED UP from GINA HOMOLKA @ SKINNY TASTE.COM

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large (32 oz) chicken breast halves, thinly sliced in 3 (12 cutlets total)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour*
  • 1/2 cup egg whites, beaten
  • 1 large lemon, juice of (about 3 tbsp) or more, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 15 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • cooking spray
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl, and the beaten egg whites in another bowl.
  3. Heat a very large non stick pan over medium heat. When hot spray with cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Lightly flour chicken, then dip in eggs and add to the hot pan a few at a time. Saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side.
  5. When cooked, transfer onto a plate.
  6. Spray the pan again and repeat until all chicken has been cooked.
  7. Once all chicken is cooked, place the chicken broth in the bowl with 1 tablespoon of flour and whisk.
  8. Add to the pan along with the juice of the lemon, white wine, lemon slices, parsley and butter and simmer over medium heat for about 2 minutes so it reduces slightly and thickens. Turn off heat.
  9. Return chicken to the pan to combine with the sauce.
  10. Serve immediately.

*discarded 1 tbsp flour so only calculated with 3 tbsp.

Note: I used one lemon cut in half. Half for the sliced lemon and the other half to squeeze in the sauce. It was a large lemon.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 2 cutlets

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Freestyle Points: 2
  • Points +: 6
  • Calories: 216.5 calories
  • Total Fat: 4.5g
  • Saturated Fat: g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 264.5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Protein: 38g
All text ©Gina Homolka for Skinny taste
Til next time,
Ciao xoxo
Viki D

POTATO, SAUSAGE, & KALE SOUP

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. It is my favorite time of year. I’m always a little sad when it ends. I truly love everything about it.

We had a lot of events to attend this year. My birthday is in December and I got treated to a Transiberian Concert in Hershey, PA.; it was amazing. We always have an annual Christmas party at our house. There is a dirty Santa ornament exchange that can get pretty intense, but lots of fun. There are multiple parties to go to as well. It all happens and ends too fast for me!

We attended our last party on the 23rd at a friend’s house. Lots of great food, including oysters, smoked duck, and all kinds of goodies. My contribution was potato, sausage, and kale soup. I also made some homemade bread. EGG BREAD or CHALLAH

This recipe came about because of a soup my husband had at Olive Garden, Zuppa Toscana. He asked me to come up with a recipe for it; so I did. I have to admit, it went over very well at the party. I was asked to give out the recipe and I’m happy to oblige.

Give this one a try. You’ll be glad you did. If you’re a Weight Watcher this soup comes in at 4 PP per 1 cup serving.

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POTATO, SAUSAGE, AND KALE SOUP

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz lean Italian turkey sausage, removed from the casing
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, fine dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 slice bacon, diced
  • 4 C fat-free milk, reserve 1 C to the side
  • 2 C water
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 8 oz red skin potato, sliced thin (I use a mandolin)
  • 2 C kale, cleaned, medium chop
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Splash of Sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • nutmeg, freshly grated

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 5-6 quart soup pot brown the turkey sausage, breaking it up as it cooks with a spoon or spatula. Drain and remove it from the pan, and place it on paper towels to remove any excess grease. Wipe the pan with a paper towel.
  2. Add the canola oil to the same pan. Saute the onions and bacon. Cook until the onion is softened and the bacon is cooked.
  3. Add the grated garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. Pour 3 cups of the milk and 2 cups of water into the pan. Add the chicken bouillon granules and bring to a simmer. (DO NOT BOIL) Add the potatoes and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. With the remaining cup of flour, add the flour and whisk, set aside.
  6. Add the sausage back to the pot and the kale and continue to simmer another 10 minutes.
  7. Add the milk and flour mixture and continue to cook until it is slightly thickened.
  8. Add the splash of Sherry
  9. Taste and season with salt and pepper
  10. Grate a small amount of fresh nutmeg, be careful not to add too much it can over power your soup. It will enhance the flavor of the kale.
  11. Serve immediately. Very good with some grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Til next time

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

SKINNY BANANA NUT BREAD

We like bananas but I always seem to buy too many. Which means, I am left with brown, over-ripened ones. I hate throwing anything out, so what’s a woman to do? Why, make banana bread of course!

Quick breads have long been a favorite of mine. In fact, I just made some zucchini bread for a co-worker. It was a birthday/nurses week gift! I had promised to make some for her well over a year ago. I figured it was time to make good on my promise.

One of the problems with most quick breads is the amount of fat and sugar in them. Just because it has bananas in it doesn’t make it healthy. I turned to a recipe by Gina Homolka, the author of Skinny Taste. She has multiple cookbooks out that are fantastic. The recipes are big on flavor, and nice portions that won’t leave you starved. Check out her website Skinnytaste.com. She is also worth the follow on Pinterest.

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This recipe uses 7 bananas which makes it very moist and tender. It makes 2 loaves. I made one with nuts and one without. The one without nuts was gifted to my daughter. Both turned out beautifully! If you don’t want to gift one, wrap it tightly and freeze it. When you are ready to serve it, let it thaw at room temperature.

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LOW FAT BANANA NUT BREAD

  • Servings: 13 slices per loaf
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 7 ripe bananas, mashed chunky with fork
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 C light brown sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz. chopped walnuts or pecans
  • baking spray

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×5 inch loaf pans with baking spray. (I lined both with parchment paper and sprayed the paper, and left some overhang on either side to assist with removing from the pan.)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, apple sauce and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and blend at low speed until combined, add another 1/3 of the flour and blend at low speed, add remaining  1/3 of flour mixture and the bananas and blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the nuts if using.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pans and bake on the center rack for 50 – 52 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes before removing. Let cool completely before slicing.

Serving Size = 1 slice  Freestyle Points = 4  Points Plus = 3

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D