Harvestland Chicken Burgers

Harvestland Chicken Burgers are an item I would have probably never stumbled upon if it weren’t for Instagram. My local super Wal-Mart is constantly rearranging their frozen foods section and since then one needs a microscope to find anything that’s not a frozen dinner.  Since I’ve ventured into the frozen chicken/turkey burger realm, I’m always open to trying new burgers.
Harvestland chickens are raised with no antibiotics, have an all vegetarian diet and have no animal by-products. There are no hormones or steroids added and the burgers themselves are made with all natural ingredients.  Each chicken burger patty is ¼ pound. The great part about these burgers is they are uncooked and are seasoned. I like the fact that they are seasoned because chicken tends to be very plain and if it’s not seasoned, I find chicken has a distinct “chicken taste” for the lack of a better description. I did of course add a little burger seasoning to one side before cooking just to add an additional level of seasoning.
There are 6 burgers in each box, which the only downside is they come packaged with 3 burgers in a pouch. I was able to cook my burgers in a hot skillet straight out of the freezer. There was no need to defrost them and they cooked up evenly and perfectly in under 10 minutes. Even cooking them in a frozen state the burgers retained their moisture while cooking and were moist and delicious. I refrigerated the leftover cooked burgers and reheated the following day without the product quality degrading. Overall I was quite pleased with these burgers and will undoubtedly be purchasing them again.
They were perfect served on a light hamburger bun, with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard.  Also thanks to the 22 grams of protein in each burger they are mighty filling. Winner, winner, chicken burger dinner!
Each burger is 150 calories or 3 points plus values.

Rotisserie Turkey Dinner

I had a Shady Brook Farms Rotisserie Turkey Breast Tenderloin in the freezer that I had picked up at the grocery store. While meal planning for the week I decided it’d be a great opportunity to give the turkey tenderloin a try. Granted, I had never tried it before, but since I enjoy the brands turkey sausages I figured this couldn’t be bad. It turned out to be quite delicious!
The packaging listed it could be put onto the grill or baked in the oven. Since I had a few cooking bags on hand, I decided to cook the tenderloins in a cooking bag to keep as much moisture in the turkey as I could. It turned out absolutely perfect. The turkey browned, it was flavorful and it was very moist.
As with most turkeys it was very low in points. A 4 ounce serving was 3 points plus, or a 5 ounce serving for 4 points plus.
Here’s what I had for dinner (which might I add was delicious, filling and a homerun):
5 ounces Rotisserie Turkey Tenderloin (4ppv)
½ cup garlic mashed potatoes (3ppv)
¼ cup Heinz fat free turkey gravy (0ppv)
2 tbsp cranberry sauce (1ppv)
French cut green beans
Steamed Brussels sprouts

Taco Salad

I find myself on “Taco Tuesday’s” reaching for my salad bowl instead of the taco shells. If I’m in the mood for the crunch, I will incorporate something crunchy (a broken up taco shell or tortilla chips) into my salad. This way I’m one in the crowd and I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything.  Other times I simply skip the tortillas and make a “normal” taco salad.
This is one of those bang for your buck type of meals. It’s filled with greens, lean meat and flavorful components (taco seasoning and salsa). For those folks on Weight Watchers you can see there are many power foods in this dish. It’s satisfying, it’s filling and it’s incredibly low in points.
Pictured, I have tossed salad (romaine, baby tomatoes, cucumber and red onion), 3 oz of lean ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Queso Dip, 1 oz of Trader Joe’s Organic Tortilla Chips, Chi-Chi’s medium salsa and a few jalapenos to balance it all out.  All of this for 6 points plus values!

Dinner: Bangers and Mashed

Having full fat sausage is a treat because I usually eat chicken or turkey sausage just because pork sausage is heavy and can make me have a bit of a stomach ache.  The only exception to that rule is when having English sausage – Bangers.  I have an English market in town where bangers are made in house and are authentic to the bangers sold and served in England.
Last time I picked up some bangers, I opted for the thinner cased pork sausage. They’re also sold in the classic large banger form, but I find these are easier to cook and they can go further because you get more sausages in a pound package than you do with the regular sized sausages.
Growing up we always had bangers with macaroni and cheese – but since my boyfriend is not a fan of mac & cheese I opted to make garlic mashed potatoes to pair with peas. Considering this is the first time I’ve had bangers with mashed I was quite pleased with the dish. Delicious, simple and overall tasty.
The whole meal was 12 points plus. Definitely worth it!

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Mexican “Pizza”

I wanted something different for lunch one day. I didn’t really want a salad and I wasn’t really in the mood for a chicken wrap. So I took the things I would have used and transformed them into a whole different meal.  I made myself Mexican “Pizza” (I just omitted the cheese since I only had American cheese on hand). Seeing it in a different form made it more appetizing. Plus, since pizza is my favorite food it made it fun to eat.
I used 2 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, Whole Wheat Tortillas and topped it with chunky salsa as the “sauce”. I then topped it with some Oscar Meyer chicken chunks and baked it off in the oven. When it was done I topped it with some sliced lettuce and tomato, topped it with some jarred jalapenos and a dollop of salsa on top.
It was perfect! Delicious and filling … plus for 2 “pizzas” it was only 6 points plus values.

Spaghetti Squash Bake with Turkey Meatballs

I have developed a true love for spaghetti squash, although I will admit having it the same way over and over again can get a little redundant and boring. So with that I ended up switching it up a bit, using the same ingredients but adding some cheese atop. It turned out absolutely perfectly. The spaghetti squash crisped up just slightly on the outside and the cheese was a perfect touch. Considering this was using some of my leftover meat sauce I had made it was also a great way to use up some leftovers in a new and unique way.
My meatballs are actually frozen turkey meatballs from Trader Joe’s.  I pick these up every once in a while at Trader Joe’s because my boyfriend and I just genuinely like these! I’m usually not a frozen meatball fan (I prefer homemade) but these are tasty and perfect for a quick meal. I’ve heard from a few that the sodium level is too high for their liking – but I feel as though these aren’t an item I eat all the time, so a higher sodium level isn’t going to be a damper.
To make my spaghetti squash bake, I layered spaghetti squash into the bottom of a small baking dish. I layered ½ cup of homemade meat sauce over the top, then sprinkled the top with 1/3 cup of fat free mozzarella.  I then baked it in the oven for roughly 15-20 minutes until the cheese was nice and melted.
The greatest part was my entire meal was only 9 points plus!
QUESTION:
Have you ever had spaghetti squash bake?

Jamaican Jerk Pork w/ Carrots & Roasted Butternut Squash

Whenever I have a pork roast out to cook … it ultimately means one thing: Jamaican Jerk Pork. I can’t think of making anything else with it (I mean I could, but pork roast and jerk seasoning go together like flour and water in my book) and it’s one of those dishes that I love and enjoy quite a lot.
For my plate, I decided to cut out the carb (rice) so I went with fresh steam carrots and a roasted butternut squash, which I seasoned up with some spray butter and a tablespoon of brown sugar.
The whole dish was perfect. Filling, fresh and packed with flavors.  I’ve learned the trick with jerk pork or chicken is to use a very small amount of seasoning (incase you’re wondering I use the Mild Grace Jamaican Jerk Seasoning). The seasoning itself is packed with flavor and spicy pepper so a small amount will pack on the flavor but not make it too hot to handle.  The sweet squash helped balance out the flavors. Ultimately it was a wonderful dish and a perfect dinner.


The greatest part it was only 7 points plus values (1 for the brown sugar, 6 for 4 oz of pork)!

Dinner: Country style pork ribs, potato and salad

This is a delicious dinner I had this weekend. Yes, that’s a marvelous thing about Weight Watchers – I can eat homemade barbecue without guilt and it’s deliciously fabulous.
Country style pork ribs were on sale at a local grocery store, so I picked up a pack. Since I was going to be gone for the better half of the day, I asked my mother if she wouldn’t mind making some ribs (she makes the best ribs, BTW). She agreed, so she whipped up a batch – typically she boils them with vinegar, water and an onion and then bakes them off in the oven with some barbecue sauce. Usually it’s a homemade sauce, but she decided to use Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce.
I requested that she leave my ribs aside (after baking for a few minutes) for me to pull the meat off the bone, separate the fat and mix with barbecue sauce. I ended up getting two meals out of it.
What I had for dinner was 3 oz country style pork ribs (off the bone) w/ sweet baby rays bbq sauce (7 ppv), 5 oz potato (3ppv) & side salad w/ 1 tbsp light italian (0 ppv). It was a delicious 10 points plus and worth every point!
QUESTION:
Do you like having barbecue for dinner?

Homemade Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches

Chicken shawarma sandwiches are one of my favorite Lebanese dishes. I enjoy them so much that I purchase the shawarma seasoning at my local Lebanese store and make them at home. Although my shawarma sandwiches are slightly different than a shawarma you’d get at a restaurant.
Incase you’re not familiar with shawarma it’s an Arabic dish that consists of either chicken, lamb, beef, turkey or veal that has been seasoned with spices and grilled or “roasted” on a spit. If cooked on a rotating spit, the meat is trimmed off and added to your sandwich. I’ve had shawarma that way while in NYC, but back at home I’ve always had it grilled or cooked on a hot top. The sandwiches are usually encased in pita bread.
Shawarma can be served up in a number of ways – really depending on where you get the sandwich from.  It can be served with tabbouleh, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, tahini, hummus, pickled turnips, pickle, garlic mayonnaise, hot sauce, etc.
Making the dish at home, I clean and cut up my chicken into small chunks. I then make my shawarma seasoning, which is mixed with water.  The directions call to marinate the meat and grill up after marinating, but I pour the marinade over the chicken, add in tomato, garlic and onion and I bake it off in the oven for roughly 30-40 minutes.  After it’s cooled for about 5 minutes, I add in a few tablespoons of hummus to help thicken the “sauce”.  I serve the chicken, tomato and onion mixture on pita bread, with lettuce, red onion, and tabbouleh.
It’s completely delicious, filling and it’s a nice ode to a classic sandwich.  The whole sandwich pictured is only 9 points plus values. Worth it? You betcha!
QUESTION:
Do you make your own version of a classic sandwich at home?

Lunch: Spaghetti Squash w/ Meatballs, Sauce and Garlic Bread

I was going to my boyfriend’s uncle’s house this weekend, with his mother and him to visit. I knew his mother was making homemade sauce and meatballs and since I didn’t want to tote along a measuring cup (because I visually can’t judge what a cup of pasta looks like), I decided to bring spaghetti squash to share with everyone.  I like bringing healthier alternatives to the table, regardless of where I am, and this was a perfect opportunity.
I had baked my spaghetti squash (seasoned with salt and pepper) the afternoon prior, shredded it and put it into the refrigerator.  I was quite pleased with how my spaghetti squash turned out because the last few I have made came out very wet. This one was perfect and reminiscent of al dente pasta.  The squash itself tastes like squash, but it does adapt to the flavors it’s paired with and due to it’s spaghetti like characteristics it makes for easy twirling on a fork.
At my boyfriends uncles we ended up having a late lunch. I had a helping of spaghetti squash, a ladle of homemade sauce and one meatball. I also had a small helping of garlic bread. It was a perfect meal – delicious, satisfying and I honestly didn’t miss the pasta.  And to think I was a little afraid of trying spaghetti squash with pasta sauce … now I’m a huge fan. So much of a fan I had spaghetti squash with pasta sauce for lunch the next day!
QUESTION:
Do you like incorporating spaghetti squash into meals?