Friday, March 23, 2012

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

Tonight I tried this recipe using Xylitol (brand name "Ideal") for my dad who is diabetic. I actually could tell no difference in taste from using this compared to regular sugar. If you use regular sugar, the points value is 8. If using Xylitol, the points value is 6.

Serves 16 ( 6 points +)

  • 40 reduced fat vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 oz each) reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 c. Xylitol (Ideal) or sugar, divided
  • 1 T. + 1 tsp. vanilla, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Free

Heat oven to 325. Mix wafer crumbs with butter and press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan.

Beat 3 packages of cream cheese, ¾ c. Xylitol (or sugar) and 1 T. vanilla until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Run a knife around rim to loosen cake. Let cool completely in pan.
Beat remaining cream cheese with ¼ c. Xylitol ( or sugar) until well blended. Whisk in Cool Whip. Spread over cheesecake.  Refrigerate 4 hours. Remove rim of pan before serving. Garnish with fresh berries if desired.

adapted from "Philadelphia brand cream cheese"

Lime in the Coconut Drumsticks

serves 7 ( 2 drumsticks = 5 points +)

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 T. crushed ginger
  • 1 c. chopped scallions
  • 1 c. cilantro
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 1 c. light coconut milk
  • ⅓ c. lime juice
  • 14 bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks

Place all ingredients except chicken in a blender and puree. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag and add marinade. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
Place chicken on a rack coated with cooking spray in a roasting pan.
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Turn and bake until cooked through ( 15-20 minutes)

adapted from "Every Day with Rachel Ray"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grilled Sirloin with Sweet and Spicy Coffee Sauce

The weather this month has been unbelievably warm…almost like summer with temperatures reaching 80 degrees! This has put me in the mood for grilling. This recipe was outstanding! I hope you like it. I found this in the Weight Watcher's cookbook "Healthy and Happy Celebrations". I did double the amount of meat for my family, but did not double the sauce. There was plenty!

serves 4 ( 5 points +)

  • ½ c. brewed coffee
  • ¼ c. ketchup
  • ¼ c. A-1 steaks sauce
  • ¼ c. packed brown sugar
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1-¼ lb. sirloin steak
  • salt
To prepare sauce, place the first nine ingredients in a saucepan (through cumin). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened. (about 20 minutes)

Sprinkle steak with salt. Grill until desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with sauce.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Savory Sausage, Onion and Spinach Turnovers

These little turnovers were pure comfort food. They are delicious! I doubled this recipe for my family and there was some left over filling. If this happens to you, don't worry… your son will be happy to eat it!
You can also top these with a spoon of marinara sauce, if desired.
Serve these with a big salad and your dinner is complete!

serves 4 ( 9 points +)

  • ⅔ c. diced red potatoes
  • ⅓ c. diced red or orange bell pepper
  • ⅓ c. diced onion
  • 2 ( 4 oz) hot Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 3 c. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ ( 14.1 oz) package refrigerated pie dough ( such as Pillsbury)
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook potatoes, peppers and onion until onion begins to brown ( about 4-5 minutes) Add sausage, cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in spinach and cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in basil, salt and crushed red pepper. Remove from heat.

Cut dough into 4 equal portions and pat to flatten a little ( do not make too thin or your dough will rip when filled.  Spoon sausage mixture into the center of each dough piece. Fold over and crimp edges. Place on baking sheet. 
Mix egg white with water and brush dough. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 18 minutes or until browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, March 19, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

While this recipe is called "General Tso's", it really has very little resemblance to the traditional dish of that name that you would find in a Chinese restaurant. It is not breaded or deep-fried and it does not have a sugary-syrupy sauce. Nonetheless, it is still very flavorful and can have some heat depending on how much red pepper flakes you use.

serves 4 ( 5 points + )  add additional points for rice

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 5 T. dry sherry, divided
  • 1 T. + 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 T. oyster sauce
  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Asian dark sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 T. minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes ( or more if you like it hot)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Combine 2 T. sherry, 1 T. cornstarch and oyster sauce in a medium bowl. Add chicken and marinate for 5 minutes.
Combine remaining 3 T. sherry, water, say sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil and remaining 
2 tsp. cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat a wok or nonstick skillet. Add canola oil and swirl to coat. Add chicken mixture until lightly browned. Add garlic, ginger, scallions and red pepper flakes. Cook 30 seconds. Add red bell pepper and cook until crisp-tender. Stir in sherry mixture and cook until thickened and chicken is cooked all the way through.

adapted from the Weight Watcher's "Take Out" cookbook

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins with Orange Glaze

A fun addition to any breakfast or a nice coffee-time treat!

Makes 12 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 c. flour
  • ½ c. rolled oats
  • ½ c. wheat germ
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. fat-free vanilla yogurt (such as Dannon Light and Fit)
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. grated orange zest
  • 1 c. fresh or unthawed raspberries
  • 3 T. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with paper liners.
Whisk together flour and next 6 ingredients ( through salt)
In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, butter egg and orange zest. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until moistened. Fold in raspberries. 
Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 
Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice. Spoon over muffins.

from the Weight Watcher's Cookbook "Comfort Classics"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Escarole with Bacon, Dates and Warm Walnut Vinaigrette

I love trying new salad recipes in the spring. This one was definitely different, but lovely! I am sorry there is not too much of a picture to show. I was totally enjoying this salad when I realized that I had not taken a picture. This was all that was left!

serves 6 ( 5 points + )

  • 1 head escarole, coarsely torn
  • ½ c. chopped dates
  • ½ c. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 5 fully cooked bacon strips, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 3 T. walnut oil or olive oil
  • 3 T. finely chopped onion
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine escarole, dates and walnuts in a bowl. Cook bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Remove and drain before crumbling. In the same pan, add oil and onion. Cook until onion is tender. Remove from heat and whisk in vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour warm dressing over salad and toss to coat.

adapted from "Bon Appetit"

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

These burgers were a nice twist on the traditional beef burger. I think you will like them!

serves 12 ( 6 points+)

  • 12 ( 2 oz) square ciabatta rolls, toasted
  • 2 lbs. ground chicken breast
  • 2 c. marinara sauce, divided
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ c. parmesan cheese, grated

Combine chicken with 1c. marinara, thyme, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Form into 12 small burgers.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Cook burgers until no longer pink. Add mozzarella, reduce heat, cover until cheese melts.
Toast ciabatta rolls in an oven heated to 350 degrees. Cut rolls open, place burgers on each roll, top with remaining marinara and parmesan cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Orange Poppyseed Cake

This cake is a nice low-point dessert that is perfect for this time of year. If you use Xylitol ( that natural sweetener that I recently discovered), the points value is only 3+.
This recipe comes from "Weight Watcher's" magazine
Orange Poppyseed Cake: serves 16 ( 4 points +)

  • 2 c. cake flour
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1/4 c. lemon FF yogurt
  • grated zest of one orange


  • 3 T. sugar
  • 3 T. fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 10" bundt pan with cooking spray.
For cake, whisk together first six ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, beat oil, egg, milk, yogurt and orange zest. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just blended. Pour into pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around pan to loosen cake. Invert onto a serving plate. Cool 15 minutes.
Meanwhile mix glaze ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Poke holes in cake with a skewer or toothpick. Brush glaze over cake. Cool completely.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Italian Meatball Sliders

With just the right amount of heat and spice, these little burgers are a great treat! Make sure you use a bun or dinner roll that is only 2 points+ each. You will use a small sized dinner roll for these. I used a potato roll. The serving size is 2 sliders for 11 points+, but you can have just one for 5 points+.

serves 6 ( 2 sliders = 11 points+)

  • 1 T. olive oil, divided
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1 medium onion, finely shopped
  • ⅓ c. low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • ¼ c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. lean ground pork
  • 2 ( 4 oz) hot Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 egg
  • 1-½ c. low-fat marinara sauce
  • 12 slider buns, toasted

Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onions and cook until tender. Add garlic powder and stir. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add ricotta and the next 8 ingredients ( through egg) Mix together and form into 12 meatballs, slightly flattening the tops. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to the skillet. Add meatballs and cook for 6 minutes, turning once. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until meatballs are done. Top bottom half of bun with 1-½ T. sauce, then 1 meatball and top half of bun.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chicken With White Beans

serves 4 ( 8 points +)

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1 ( 14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ c. fat-free chicken broth
  • ¼ c. red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ( 5-6 oz) skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook until onion is golden and carrots are crisp tender. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, broth, wine, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, add chicken and cover. Simmer for 40-50 minutes until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender. Stir in beans and lemon zest. Cook for 3 minutes or until heated through.

adapted from the Weight Watcher's Turn Around Cookbook

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mixed Citrus Green Salad with Orange-Poppyseed Dressing

This recipe, which was adapted from "Cooking Light", is full of many wonderful flavors.
You will only use half of the dressing. Save the rest for another use. You may like this salad so much, that you will want to make it again the next day!

serves 8 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 c. red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2 ( 5 oz) bags mixed salad greens
  • 1c. mandarin oranges
  • 1 ( 8 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • ½ c. chopped pecans, toasted

Orange Poppyseed Dressing:

  • ½ c. fresh orange juice
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • 2 T. tarragon vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together in another small bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat. Save remaining dressing for another use.

Chinese Barbequed Pork

Give yourself plenty of time to make this recipe. While it is not hard, it does require a good amount of marinating time. You can marinate this anywhere from 6-24 hours.

Serves 4 ( 4 points + )

  • 1lb boneless pork tenderloin
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 T. hoisin sauce
  • 2 T. white wine or sake
  • 2 tsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Asian dark sesame oil

Prick the tenderloin all over with a fork. Combine remaining ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add the tenderloin, seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate 6-24 hours, turning every so often.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a rack in a roasting pan with nonstick spray. Place tenderloin on rack, discarding marinade. Bake until desired doneness ( 25-45 minutes)
Let stand for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

from Weight Watcher's Take Out Cookbook

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Spinach Salad

Shown without dressing

Another fresh tasting spring salad!

serves 6 ( 3 points +)


  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1 c. sliced strawberries
  • ¼ c. chopped pecans, toasted


  • 2 T. raspberry vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Italian Chicken Skillet

This dish is easy, healthy, delicious and low in points! What more could you ask for?

serves 4 ( 4 points +)

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • ¾ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 ( 14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil to taste

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add celery, onions and carrots. Cook until vegetables are softened.
Add chicken and cook chicken is opaque. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and basil. Cook 10 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through.

from the Weight Watcher's Cookbook "Best Eats"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

With spring just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to make a salad for dinner. The lettuce and fresh vegetables always taste so fresh in the spring!

serves 8 ( 8 points +)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 16-24 c. Romaine lettuce
  • 1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into cutlets for grilling
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 c. tortilla strips (pre-packaged)


  • ¼ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ c. light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. cider vinegar
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and lime juice. Brush chicken with olive oil mixture.
In another small bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over chicken on both sides.
Heat a grill coated with nonstick spray. Grill chicken until no longer pink. Slice thinly.

Place equal amounts of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and avocado on each plate. Top with equal amounts of chicken, 2 T. mozzarella and 2 T. tortilla strips. Drizzle each plate with 2 T. dressing.

For dressing, whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.


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