Dinner: Broccoli & Carrot Alfredo w/ Chicken Cutlet

This is a quick and easy dinner I whipped up the other night. I knew pasta was on the dinner menu, but I had no real other inclination as to what to do with it … until I saw a jar of Ragu Light Alfredo sauce. Alfredo pasta it shall be!
This was a rather quick, easy and filling meal I was able to whip up in less than 20 minutes.  I had some Tyson Lightly Breaded Chicken Strips that I popped into the oven to crisp up while I set a pot of water on to boil. I was boiling up some Al Dente Carba-Nada pasta for myself.  I popped a bag of fresh broccoli and carrots into the microwave and let them steam.  When the pasta was done, I drained it, added in some black pepper, tossed in the broccoli and carrots, then added in some Ragu Light Alfredo sauce. I actually made 2 servings, one serving for diner and another to have for lunch the following day.
Since pasta, without a protein is something I don’t eat; I weighed out 3 ounces of chicken and served that alongside my pasta dish.  It was delicious, filling and a perfectly different meal.  The entire plate was only 10 points plus values.
QUESTION:
Do you like alfredo pasta?

Dinner: Baked Eggplant Cutlets w/ Meat sauce & Carba-Nada

This was one of the delicious dinners I pulled together using the baked eggplant cutlets (see here) and the meat sauce (see here) I had made.  I wanted to enjoy the taste of the fresh eggplant without loading it up with a bunch of sauce and cheese.  I planned on making eggplant parmesan with some of the leftovers – but with it fresh out of the oven, simplicity was the best route.
I cooked up a 1 ½ cup serving of Carba-nada pasta and tossed it with ¼ cup meat sauce when done.  I then served that with my 3 slices of baked eggplant cutlets and topped it with ¼ cup meat sauce.  It was a perfect combination and a delicious meal. Filling, yet light.
The entire plate shown was only 8 points plus values!  Not bad for a take at a classic Italian meal at home.

Inside Out Sauerkraut Pierogi Pasta (Take 2)

I have made a variation of this before using egg noodles, but I decided to remake it using egg fettuccine Carba-nada noodles. I love Carba-nada noodles because they taste just like regular fettuccine pasta although I’m able to have a 1 ½ cup serving for only 3 points plus values.
On this particular night I was craving sauerkraut, so I whipped up a batch (well, two one for dinner and one for lunch the next day). My mother always cooked our sauerkraut with onion and butter, so that’s how I make mine … although I do skip on the butter and use spray butter just to get a buttery flavor in the mix without all the added fat. After all, I’m looking for a sauerkraut and onion flavor, not a greasy buttery flavor.
I found the sheer volume of food on my plate was wowing. Especially since it was only 3 points plus values worth!
Serves 1. 3 Points Plus Values.
          1 ½ cups Carba-Nada, Egg Fettuccine
          1 can sauerkraut, drained and squeezed
          1 small onion, sliced
          Salt, to taste
          Pepper, to taste
          Spray butter
          2 tbsp water
Bring a small pan of salted water up to boil.
In a non-stick skillet begin to sauté onion. Cook until onion begins to brown and cook.  Add in 2 tbsp of water and stir, fold in drained sauerkraut and break apart with spoon.  Season with black pepper and salt.
Pressing sauerkraut into the pan to warm through, spritz with spray butter to give the dish a buttery flavor. Continue to fold and cook for roughly 2 minutes before removing from the heat.
When pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan. Add in ½ the sauerkraut mixture and stir to combine.
Plate up and enjoy!

Dinner: Carba-Nada Pasta with Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs

It’s been a while since we had pasta and I really had a hankering for it.  Since we were having pasta, I decided to try out two Trader Joe’s products I had picked up for a pasta night – turkey meatballs and garlic marinara sauce.
I’ve grown into quite a loving fan of Carba-Nada pasta. 1 ½ cups of pasta is only 3 points plus which is quite a bang for my buck, points wise.  Not only am I getting a bigger serving of pasta, but I’m getting it all for almost half the points of regular pasta.  I made myself two servings of pasta – one to have for dinner and the other to have as leftovers the following day. Of course, we made regular Barilla pasta for my boyfriend to have with his serving of pasta.
I had some red peppers on the countertop that I had picked up at the grocery store. I typically like to boost up my pasta with extra flavors, so I sliced up a whole red pepper, a medium onion and put it into the oven to roast.  When the pasta and onions were done, I simply tossed them into my cooked pasta dishes.
I tossed the pasta with servings (1/2 cup) of Trader Joe’s Garlic Marinara Sauce.  The sauce is thick and sticks to the pasta.  Each ½ cup serving is 2 points plus. The sauce is incredibly flavorful and adheres to the pasta nicely.  Nothing is worse than runny sauce on pasta that just makes a soupy mess.
 
As a side to our pasta, I cooked the Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Turkey Meatballs in the oven. I let the outside brown until heated throughout and then garnished the pasta dishes with the meatballs on the side.  A serving size is 2 meatballs which calculate out to 3 points plus values. I decided to have a double serving for 5 points plus values.  The meatballs are totally delicious – my boyfriend quite enjoyed them and they were a hit. So much of a hit, I repurchased a bag on my last Trader Joe’s trip. They don’t have that “frozen meatball” flavor that I find frozen meatballs typically have.
The whole dish shown was only 10 points plus values! Quite a steal for a boatload of delicious food!
QUESTION:
What is your favorite way to have pasta?

Fettuccine Bolognese with Turkey Sausage

This is a meal I thought up and whipped together last week.  We had ground turkey in the refrigerator and I really wanted a meat sauce along with some new turkey sausages we picked up at the store, so that’s what I made!
I admit I made two variations of this dish – the only difference being pasta sauce and regular pasta.  I had 1 cup of Light Ragu in the refrigerator for myself to use, so I opened a bottle of Francesco Rinaldi to mix with the meat for my boyfriends dish.  Whereas I had 2 servings of Carba-Nada remaining so I made those for myself, and made regular Barilla pasta for my boyfriend.  I do eat “regular” white or whole grain pasta, but since I’ve lost 2 daily points over the last month I’ve been trying to find ways to get in volume without eating unnecessary points.
This was delicious, filling, meaty and just packed with flavor.  I whipped up 2 servings to have a dinner to put in the fridge for the next day.  Here’s how I made it:
I removed 4 ounces of cooked 93% turkey and turkey pepperoni mixture that I had cooked down with onion.  I added in a few tablespoons of drained diced canned tomatoes, my 1 cup of Light Ragu pasta sauce and stirred it together to combine.  I then added in my cooked Carba-Nada pasta and tossed then evenly divided the pasta amongst two dishes.
I added Francesco Rinaldi sauce to the remaining meat mixture, and then combined with the cooked Barilla pasta.  I made about 7 servings of pasta in my boyfriends since he typically eats 4 ounces of pasta at dinner and I made my mother two plates to have for herself.
As a side, I cooked up some turkey sausage I had picked up to try out and I have to say it was THE best turkey sausage I have ever eaten. It reminded me of true run of the mill pork sausage. It was mind blowing on my taste buds.
Overall the entire plate was only 8 points plus!

Al Dente Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine Noodles Haul


Ever since I tried the Al Dente Carba-Nada Noodles I have been hooked.  I purchased the Egg Fettuccine and Garlic noodles from my local meat market and have incorporated them into my meal planning (for myself) because for 1 ½ cups its 3 points plus values. I admit when I purchased them in store I paid upwards to $5 a bag, which is pricy, especially when a box of pasta typically runs $1-1.50/box.
These noodles themselves taste like pasta and with red sauce or alfredo sauce on them you truly don’t notice a difference between the Carba-Nada and normal run of the mill fettuccine.  I’m especially a fan of the serving size because since I am a volume eater having 1 ½ cups is definitely something I enjoy, especially without the added guilt.
I searched on Amazon for the Carba-nada noodles and I found the Egg Fettuccine Noodles for sale in a 6-pack case for a pretty decent price.  The case cost me $20.53 which came out to be $3.42/bag.  Ideally I do have more pasta on my hands, but I saved about 1/3 so I’ll gladly store it away and use it up.  I will note if you’d like to try the brand check out the Al Dente website, find a store that sells it in your local area and then call that store before going in. There are stores that carry the Al Dente brand but not the Carba-Nada line.  If you do end up liking them I’d strongly suggest comparing your store prices to the Amazon prices.  A penny saved, is a penny earned, right?
QUESTION:
Have you tried the Al Dente Carba-Nada line?

Carba-Nada Pasta with Sauce & Turkey Meatballs

Who says dinner cannot be on the table in 20 minutes or less? Certainly not this girl!  That’s even with making TWO different types of pasta (Carba-nada for myself and regular Barilla pasta for the boyfriend).
We didn’t quite have dinner plans in place.  Trying to refrain from ordering take out I scanned the cabinets and decided pasta with turkey meatballs would suffice.  Quick, easy, filling and it would allow me to use up the leftover roasted peppers and onions from dinner the night before.
Putting two separate pans of water on to boil, we retrieved the turkey meatballs from the freezer, spritzed a little non-stick cooking spray into the pan, tossed in the meatballs and into the oven they went.  I had purchased these Lean Turkey Meatballs from Target a while back (Market Pantry brand) while they were on clearance.  I paid under $4 for the bag and I have to say they are pretty good tasting meatballs!  I’m not a big fan of frozen meatballs (I love homemade – nothing beats a homemade meatball) but these are delicious.  I’ve served these up alongside some homemade sauce (because I didn’t want to eat sausage) and my family all tried some (since I cooked extras) and everyone thought they were good.
Once my water was boiled, I added in my last remaining 1 ½ cup serving of Carba-nada Roasted Garlic noodles into the water, tossed ½ a  box of pasta in the other pan and let them cook until done.  When the noodles were done, I added in the roasted peppers and onions into each pot and simply measured out a ½ cup serving of Francesco Rinaldi Tomato, Garlic & Onion pasta sauce into my dish. The noodles are 3 points, the sauce was 2 – making the whole plate of pasta only 5 points plus!  Amazing, right?
Once the turkey meatballs were done, we took them out of the oven.  A serving (6 meatballs) is 4 points plus, but after calculating 1 ½ servings, I found it was only 1 point more … so since I was quite hungry, I decided to have 5 points plus worth of meatballs.  Delicious and only 10 points plus!
QUESTION:
What is your “go to” quick and easy meal when dinner plans weren’t quite thought through?

Carba-Nada Broccoli Alfredo with Breaded Chicken Tenders


I found out about the Al Dente brand Carba-Nada noodles thanks to a fellow Weight Watchers member whom I follow on Instagram.  After seeing a few dishes she made with the noodles, I decided to go on the hunt.  And by hunt, I meant stalk.  I checked a few of my local stores pasta sections but continued to come up empty handed – so I went to the Al Dente website and did a search for my local area to see what stores sold the brand.  The only downfall is the search gives you stores that sell the brand not the particular type of pasta you are looking for.  There were only 2 local stores (one that I knew and the other I didn’t) that sold the brand – so I called the store closest to me, that I was familiar with and had a customer service rep take a peak in the pasta aisle to see if they sold Carba-Nada.  To my surprise she said they did in the original flavor and the roasted garlic flavor.  So I ran to the store and picked up a bag of each (they were around $5 a bag) but I do know if you cannot find it in your area you can purchase on Amazon – granted it’s a little more expensive, but they are available.
So what is so great about this pasta?  1 ½ cups (dry) is ONLY 3 points plus values!  That is AMAZING!
Enough of my bragging aside – onto the meal I created.  I went ahead and boiled myself off 1 ½ cups of roasted garlic Carba-nada pasta.  When done, I mixed in some steamed broccoli I had cooked (about 1 cup), a little salt, black pepper and ½ cup Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo (3 points plus – 2 servings).  I mixed together so all ingredients were combined and plated it up.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to see how MUCH was on my plate for only 6 points! Usually with regular pasta, I get 1 cup and the sauce of my choice depends (whether homemade or bottled).  Carba-nada noodles definitely help me get my “moneys worth” on my plate!
For a protein I baked off some Purdue Simply Smart Lightly Breaded Chicken Tenders in the oven.  Since I stumbled upon these frozen chicken tenders (as well as the little nuggets) I have been obsessed.  They’re white meat chicken, delicious and very low in points.  My boyfriend really enjoys them, which is a double positive.  What’s plated is 3 ounces (a serving) is only 3 points plus.  Delicious.
9 points plus for all on my dinner plate and it was fabulous.  There was so much I ended up eating half, and finishing the rest of it later on that night.
QUESTION:

Is there any dish you’ve wanted to lighten up lately?