Sautéed Banana topped French Toast, Eggs & Sausage

French toast is one of my favorite breakfast dishes, but it’s also a breakfast dish I don’t have very often. Typically I make it when I’m craving it … and one night I decided to make French toast for dinner for my boyfriend and I. I of course, make my French toast using lighter ingredients (light bread and egg substitute).  It comes out perfectly, is delicious and is filling.
I placed a little more than 1/3 cup of egg substitute in a bowl, added in 2 tablespoons of skim milk, a dash of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Beat it together, then dipped three slices of light bread and cooked it up in a nonstick skillet.  Since I had a banana that was well past ripe, I decided to make myself a quick sautéed banana cooked in a non-stick skillet with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Once done I layered that over my French toast.
The remaining egg mixture (I used ½ cup total) I decided to make myself a little scrambled eggs and served the dish alongside 3 turkey sausage links.
It was a delicious meal which was only 7 points plus. Quite a bang for my buck!

Taco Junk

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Ahh, Taco Junk! I never knew how amazing this dish was until I finally gave it a try. I’ve tried trashy taco soup in the past, but that was soup and not like “taco mix”. I stumbled upon this thanks to Pinterest. There was a picture pinned of canned food items lined up alongside taco and ranch seasoning, so I clicked on it because I was curious.  And I’m glad I did.
Not only is this dish exceptionally easy to whip together, but it’s cooked in the crock pot and the end result is utterly delicious. So delicious that I’ve been asked on multiple occasions (in a week’s time frame) as to when I was going to make it again.  It’s that good; that I’m pretty sure it’s going to be on this upcoming week’s dinner menu.
The original recipe has all canned ingredients being used with your choice of either ground beef or turkey, but I switched it up just a little bit as I do with all my cooking.  I added in onion and McCormick Montreal steak seasoning, opted for frozen fire roasted corn and decided to not use the salsa that was listed in a few recipes.  The end result was a nicely thickened taco mixture, which as it sat away from heat got thicker and even more delicious. Definitely a winner for all taco lovers alike!
Serves 13. 3 Points Plus. ½ cup serving size.
Ingredients:
  • 20 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal steak seasoning (optional)
  • 14 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 ½ cups frozen fire roasted corn (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning, reduced sodium
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
In a non-stick skillet combine onion, ground turkey and Montreal steak seasoning and cook together until browned and no longer pink.
Transfer meat and onion mixture to a crock pot. Add in taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, drained and rinsed beans, canned diced tomatoes and frozen corn.  Roughly 2 hours in give everything a gentle stir to get everything nicely incorporated.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Stir to combine all ingredients.
Serve immediately or allow to cool for 20-30 minutes to thicken up slightly.

Grilled Cheese

My niece and nephew were over this weekend. After they had been running around and playing I asked if they were hungry. I got two yeses across the board so I decided to make them something quick because I truthfully didn’t have anything prepared that would’ve been a quick small meal.  So I decided on grilled cheese sandwiches.  Theirs were made with your classic white bread and American cheese …. And I made one for myself on my light bread using fat free american cheese.
This is a great, quick meal where I’m able to have a sandwich with my niece and nephew and not have to sit on the “sidelines” and have my niece or nephew wonder why auntie isn’t having lunch with them.
The greatest part this sandwich is ONLY 3 points plus values!  How? Well, I use light Italian bread.  I buy the store brand because it’s cheaper but I do know Country Kitchen makes a version which is also 1 points plus value. Brand names differ region to region but if you can find a Light Italian they’re typically the same calories/points plus value wise.  For cheese … I use 1 slice of fat free American. Butter? I use a few sprays of spray butter on each side of my bread and toast it up until nice and crisp.
I’ve even jazzed my sandwich up in the past with some deli meat or if I want to keep it simple and light I’ve even added slices of tomato with some black pepper to season it.
QUESTION:
Are you a grilled cheese fan?

Raspberry Peanut Butter Balls / Buckeyes

This year I decided to make cookie trays for family and friends. Initially peanut butter balls weren’t on my list of things to make, but when my original idea using my PBCrave Razzle Dazzle Peanut Butter didn’t fit the bill, I decided to whip up a quick batch of these “test run” peanut butter balls.
Truth be told they were SO good, I made a second batch two days later and ended up incorporating these delicious desserts into my trays … and they were one of the show-stopper desserts. They’re your classic peanut butter ball but with a unique twist which makes them truly remarkable.
In case you’re not aware, Razzle Dazzle is sold and made by PB Crave.  The peanut butter itself is a natural peanut butter, which is a blend of red raspberries, wild honey, white chocolate and a delicious dark chocolate flavor.  Unlike typical natural butters this one is actually relatively thick and doesn’t need to be stirred together to reincorporate the oils into the butter.
The points plus/calories associated with each ball truly depends on the amount made. The first batch I got roughly 45 balls, whereas the second batch I made, I got over 60.
Serves 60. 3 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • 1 16 oz. jar PB Crave Razzle Dazzle
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Crisco
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl add in butter and the full jar of Razzle Dazzle peanut butter. Using a handheld mixer, beat the mixture together until smooth and fluffy.
Drizzle in vanilla and add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Blend until the mixture forms a thicker batter.
Line a tray with wax paper, pick up a large rounded teaspoon amount of mixture and roll into a ball. Place the balls on the wax paper and repeat until all mixture is incorporated into balls.
Place the tray into the refrigerator to harden for at a minimum 1 hour.
Before removing the peanut butter balls from the refrigerator, in a microwave safe bowl, combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips and Crisco. Microwave in 30 second intervals, blending the mixture together with a spoon in between.  I found after 3 trips into the microwave, my chocolate mixture was perfectly melted.
Using a toothpick, pierce the balls and dunk in the chocolate. Return the ball to the tray – repeating until all balls are coated. You can use another toothpick to smooth over the pierced holes or you can leave as is.
Return the tray filled with dipping peanut butter balls to the refrigerator to harden. Allow to harden for a minimum of 1-hour.

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?

Tortilla Pizzas

Pizza is undoubtedly one of my favorite foods. I’ve made pizza like this for myself in the past, but on the night I made these, I was glad I had tortillas on hand. Why? Well, I purchased the wrong prepared pizza crust (I wanted the thin crust but bought regular crust) so I made a pizza for my boyfriend and made a “point comfortable” pizza for myself – or rather TWO pizzas! The only thing I was missing was the classic thick pizza crust, but nonetheless the flavor was there and that’s all that matters!
Making tortilla pizza is truly simple and they can be versatile depending on the flavors you’re looking for. I’ve used bell peppers, onions, banana peppers, turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage and hamburger. This time around I used fresh bell pepper, fresh red onion, and turkey pepperoni. I garnished it wit a sprinkle of oregano and a tiny dash of garlic powder.
I used ¼ cup of Barilla Traditional Pasta Sauce on each tortilla round and split 1/3 cup Kraft fat free shredded mozzarella over each tortilla, then doctored up with my pepperoni and veggies.
The greatest part? Both pizzas were only 6 points plus values.
QUESTION:
Do you like homemade lower point/calorie stabs at pizza?

Cabbage, Beet and Onion Salad

Cabbage, beet and onion salad is a dish my mother made often growing up. It was a very simple salad, but it was a perfect complimentary meal against certain dishes. The salad itself is simple, refreshing, tart, crisp and even a perfect meal on its own or alongside dinner.
Typically I would use a head of cabbage, but since I was looking for something quick I opted to pick up a bag of coleslaw mix. I would recommend picking up a bag of shredded cabbage (without carrots) but since coleslaw mix with carrots is all that my grocery store had available, it’s what I picked up. The carrots don’t necessarily change the dish it just gives it a different crunch.  Nonetheless it’s delicious and typically a crowd pleaser.
I enjoy this the day I make it, but I feel it tastes so much better the next day because it gets to “marinate” in the refrigerator. The cabbage also softens up a bit.
Serves 7. 1 Points Plus Values. ~3/4 cup serving.
Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of coleslaw mix OR 1 small head of cabbage, sliced thin
  • ½ small onion, sliced
  • 8 oz fresh beets (or canned), sliced
  • 4 tbsp Red wine vinegar (or less depending on taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
Add coleslaw mix, sliced onions and sliced beets to a large bowl. Sprinkle with black pepper and a dash of salt.
Drizzle in olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine.
The beets will change the color of the salad to a slightly purple shade.  Taste test and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper and red wine vinegar).

Quick & Easy Jamaican Rice and Beans

This is my quick and easy way to make Jamaican Rice and Beans. Typically when making rice and beans, I’d soak dry red kidney beans in water overnight, then boil them the next morning and when done incorporate my rice, onion, coconut milk, seasoning, and water (that the beans were boiled in) together to cook together until the rice was done. Although … somebody (*raises hand*) forgot to soak the beans so authentic rice and beans was out of the question. So I opted to go with the quick and easy method … using my rice cooker.
It’s quite simple and delicious. I admit something about boiling it all together on the stove gives it that much more pizzazz but this is good and if no one saw it coming out of a rice pot, they truthfully wouldn’t know.
Serves 9.  9 Points Plus Values. 1 cup serving. OR Serves 18. 5 Points Plus. 1/2 cup serving.
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups uncooked white rice (I use Goya Golden Canilla Parboiled Rice)
  • 15 oz canned Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz canned Light Coconut Milk
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 6 ¼ cups water (since you are using the light coconut milk, you need to cut back on the water because you have 1 ¾ cup of light coconut milk – in total you want 8 cups of liquid as it’s normally 2 cups water per 1 cup rice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 pieces of Thyme (optional)
Add rice, beans, coconut milk, water, onion, salt, pepper and thyme (if using) to rice pot.
Set rice pot on to cook, “set it and forget it.”
Your dish will be done when the rice pot is finished cooking. Make sure to remove the sprigs of thyme before serving.
Serve up with one of your favorite dishes (I recommend curry cabbage, curry chicken stewed chicken or jerk pork/chicken).

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?

Garden Lites Pizza Souffle

After deciding to give the Garden Lites brand a second shot, I’ve been intrigued by some of the “newer” flavors, so I’ve been giving those a shot. One of the flavors on my list has been the Garden Lites Pizza Souffle and I was glad to find it at a local super Target.  I had it in the freezer for a couple weeks and decided to finally give it a whirl.
Pizza is one of my favorite foods and I’ll be honest when I say I was a little apprehensive. Pizza … soufflé … how exactly is this going to taste? The box describes the dish as “a savory veggie soufflé topped with our delicious pizza sauce & herbed mozzarella cheese.”
When it was done cooking in the microwave, I let it rest for a few minutes before taking the first bite and I have to say, this is DELICIOUS! The bottom part of the soufflé is a little wetter, but it’s not soggy, nor does it make it gross.  The sauce is so vibrantly flavorful that it really brings the dish to a whole new level. The cheese is like the icing on cake, where it really brings it all together. Out of all the Garden Lites I’ve recently tried (pumpkin spice & veggie chili and cornbread) this has to be my favorite.  The only downside … they’re not available at any location that’s a hop/skip away.
A serving (the whole 7 ounce container) is 200 calories or 5 points plus values. It’s delicious and relatively filling and could be suitable for a lunch alongside with a side salad.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the Garden Lites products? If so, what’s one you’d recommend trying?