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).

Roast Chicken Dinner


I typically don’t make whole chickens, but once in a blue moon I do.  I’m more of a white meat kind of girl – but since my boyfriend likes legs and wings the bird doesn’t go to waste.  We happened to be given a whole chicken, so I decided to whip together a dinner that could have been straight out of a Martha Steward magazine.
I cleaned out the chicken carcass, rinsed it down with water, and then put it into a basket which I had set inside of a casserole pan. This way the grease could drip from the meat and the air could evenly circulate around the bird crisping it all up … instead of crisping the top and leaving the rest a greasy, soggy mess.  I went into the cabinet and concocted a dry rub mixture, adding salt, black pepper, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning, McCormick chicken seasoning, Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute, and oregano into a bowl. I mixed it together then evenly rubbed it over the skin (top and bottom), then separated the skin from the meat and rubbed the seasoning over the meat as well.  I stuffed a medium quartered onion into the cavity and popped it all into a 350 degree oven and baked it for roughly 1 ½ hours.
I cut some washed yellow skinned potatoes into chunks and put them into a pot of salted water.  When the chicken had 30 minutes left to cook I put my potatoes onto boil. I didn’t peel my potatoes because the skin is about as thick as red skinned potatoes. Plus I like my mashed potatoes with skin on them. I mashed them up with a teaspoon of margarine, some skim milk, salt and pepper.
I had some French style frozen green beans from Trader Joe’s.  I took half the bag and defrosted them in the microwave, drained the water from them, then tossed them with minced garlic. I then popped the green beans onto a non-stick baking sheet, which was coated with non-stick cooking spray and roasted them off in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Since I had some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, I decided to chop them up and make a childhood favorite – tomato, onion and cucumber salad. It’s simply pickling cucumbers, sliced, tomatoes sliced or quartered and scallions that are chopped. Before serving I simply toss it with 1 tablespoon of the dressing of my or my guests’ choice.
At dinner time I heated up some canned chicken gravy and opened a small can of jellied cranberry sauce. It was literally like Thanksgiving dinner … and what’s even better was it was delicious WITHOUT my beloved stuffing.
My whole plate for dinner was 10 points plus!
QUESTION:
Do you like Thanksgiving-esque dinners?

Steak Tip Salad


All year round, Steak Tip Salad is my “go to” food whenever we are having steak.  I also order steak tip salad while out at restaurants, because it’s a nice twist from the normal (and occasionally boring) grilled chicken salad.  Sirloin is very flavorful and I find even with it on a plain ole garden salad, it gives it such a new and different flavor.  Sometimes when I’m feeling “fancy” I add feta cheese to it – in that instance I don’t need salad dressing because it’s flavorful enough with the 2 extra added toppings.
This particular dinner consisted of a tossed salad (lettuce, tomato, red onion, carrots and cucumbers) alongside 3 ounces of grilled sirloin steak tips with some grilled onions.  I topped it with 2 tablespoons of fat free poppyseed dressing.  My entire dinner was a delicious 6 points plus values!
Here’s a little tip I use while eating out.  In my mind I know the points plus values for a 3 ounce serving of sirloin (as well as grilled chicken) – so my trick is, when ordering out, I’ll ask the waiter how many ounces the meat is cooked (not raw). This way, even without a scale, I can figure out the points that way instead of trying to judge how many ounces visually, while failing miserably (because I have portion distortion).
QUESTION:
Do you like steak tip salad?

Dinner: Big Ole Salad w/ Perdue Chicken Breast & Fire Roasted Corn

Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy salad.  A plain salad is fine for me as long as there’s a yummy dressing or feta cheese for it.  But I find I enjoy salad a lot more than I add additional “toppings” to it. This dinner really went hand-in-hand with this weeks Weight Watchers topic – salads!  Salads don’t have to be boring, salads can really house anything you want to put on them – vegetables, fruits, proteins, dressings.  You name it; it can probably go on a salad in some way shape or form (and it’ll be delicious).
We had some of the Purdue Perfect Portions Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts in Italian season defrosting.  I really enjoy that chicken because I don’t have to measure out 3 ounces – each cutlet is perfectly portioned so I can grab a chicken breast, put it on my salad and I don’t have to think about it or weigh it out.  Anyway, initially I was making a salad to have on the side, alongside some fire roasted corn and potato – but then said “why not just make a big ole salad.” So that’s exactly what I did.
My salad consisted of the basic romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber.  I paired it with 1/3 cup fire roasted corn (1 points plus values, or a full serving 2/3 cups is 3 points plus) and topped it with the grilled Perdue chicken breast (3 points plus values) which I sliced up.  I then topped it with some honey mustard dressing. The whole salad was only 5 points plus values, incredibly filling and above all delicious.  The fire roasted corn gave the salad a bold interesting kick, which really brought everything together and made it unique.
Certainly delicious and anything BUT boring!
QUESTION:
What do you do to jazz up your salads?

Chicken Philly Cheese “Steaks”

I make homemade steak and cheese often, but I was in the mood for a different twist on a classic.  I threw out the idea of chicken philly cheese steaks and my boyfriend was on board as long as the meat was sans cheese.  That’s a doable request, plus it’s the way I prefer my homemade sandwiches, so off and prepping we went.
These turned out quite delicious and were enjoyed for a couple days.  I wrapped my sandwich up in a large pita bread from a local Lebanese bakery in town.  I tend to prefer my wraps that way because one of my all time favorite sandwiches is a steak and cheese salad – which is a steak and cheese, on top of a bed of salad, rolled up into a pita.
My large bread was 4 points plus values, my slice of fat free American was 1 points plus values, and my meat mixture was 3 points plus values (I weigh out the meat per ounces and then sprinkle over the onions, peppers and mushrooms).  I layered my chicken over a bed of salad and then topped with some reduced sugar ketchup.
I cooked the vegetables in the microwave with seasonings to get the consistency I was looking for.  I cook my onions and peppers together and cook the mushrooms in their own container (because in my family, mushrooms aren’t a favorite by all).
Here’s how I made the chicken philly “steaks”:
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, trimmed of fat, sliced into strips
  • 1 large red and green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 small package sliced mushroom
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon, McCormick Steak Seasoning
Toss chicken with minced garlic and McCormick steak seasoning, a splash of pepper and salt.
Spritz a pan with non-stick cooking spray and drizzle in 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Heat on medium high until pan is hot.  Add in raw chicken and cook on one side then turn over to cook evenly on the other.
Add sliced peppers and onions to a microwave safe bowl. Add in a sprinkle of black pepper, salt and half of the Mrs. Dash seasoning and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of water.  Cover with a loose microwave safe cover and cook for 3 minutes, stirring when done. Place back into the microwave for an additional 2 minutes until onions and peppers are soft but still holds shape.
Add mushrooms to a microwave safe bowl; add in a sprinkle of black pepper, salt and half of the Mrs. Dash seasoning and 2 tablespoons of water.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring when done, returning back to the microwave until mushrooms are softened.
When vegetables are done, drain excess water from bowls and toss vegetables with the cooked chicken.
Assemble sandwiches – weighing out your portion of chicken (sans vegetables).  Add in veggies after measuring out ounces of protein.
Please adjust your points plus values for the dish based on the ounces of chicken you are eating, as well as the bread of choice and your choice of cheese!

Dinner @ Texas Roadhouse

When you mention the phrase “Texas Roadhouse” to me – the first thought that pops into my head is heavenly buttery rolls with cinnamon butter – which are endless.  As a self proclaimed carboholic, I’ve decided Texas Roadhouse is not quite a restaurant for me to visit because if I am with a party that WANTS the bread, I sometimes am not sure if my will power will hold strong.
As a belated birthday celebration for my boyfriend’s mother, it was decided Texas Roadhouse was the restaurant we were going to go to.  That meant I immediately pulled up the website and scanned through their menu (ignoring my favorite – a full slab of ribs).  I knew if I REALLY wanted the ribs I could have them, but they just weren’t worth it to me because at the end of the day, the richness and fattiness to them would have only made me feel sick and sick is not what I aim for.
I found a grilled chicken salad on their menu and decided I’d treat myself to that – that is with slight modification to the “display” of the salad.  No eggs, no croutons and no cheese please.  I wanted a simple salad and by simple I asked them to add tomato to it because if I recall correctly, the menu did not list tomato as a component of their salad.  Dressing wise – I went with the only friendly dressing – fat free ranch.
My salad came out and it was delicious.  It was actually two meals for me – a late lunch and a late dinner.  And yes, I admit I had a roll and I had peanuts – but I enjoyed myself and accounted for all.  That’s the great thing about my journey is it’s all about moderation not deprivation.
I estimated the salad to be 8 points plus (figuring there was some sort of butter/olive oil used on the grill to keep it from sticking).
QUESTION:
What is one of your favorite meals to order when going out to eat?

Spotted: Panera Dressing at Target


A few weeks ago I went shopping at Target and while in the refrigerator section (near the fruits and veggies) I found bottled Panera salad dressing.  I at first did a double take because my initial reaction was “Panera bottles dressings?!”  I don’t eat at Panera often, but from what I do know; Panera is not shy on the fat and calories associated with many of their dishes.  Scanning the dressing options I saw two fat free options: Poppy Seed and Raspberry Vinaigrette.
I calculated the points and found the Fat Free Poppy Seed (as well as the Raspberry Vinaigrette) were both 1 points plus for a 2 tablespoon serving.  I figured I would use the Poppy Seed a lot more on salads than I would the Raspberry, so the Poppy Seed went into my cart (I’ve actually since purchased another bottle because it’s THAT good).  My mother introduced me to Poppy Seed dressing years ago but that dressing is 5 points plus for 2 tablespoons and TOTALLY not worth it.
This particular dressing is “looser” in consistency (think like a slightly runnier creamy Italian).  Its sweet and a distinct poppy seed dressing taste.  Definitely a great addition to any salad or grilled chicken salad!

Lean Cuisine Salad Additions – Southwest-style Chicken

After trying out the Lean Cuisine Salad Addition in the Asian-style Chicken flavor I decided to expand my horizon.  While grocery shopping at Target I found a few new flavor options that I had not seen at my first trip to Wal-Mart so I picked up the Southwest-style Chicken flavor.
This flavor was quite delicious!  I would say it is spicy (as Southwestern dishes tend to be) but not overwhelmingly spicy.  The product comes with 3 individual plastic bags inside of the box.  You microwave the pouch containing the chicken and vegetables for the set amount of time.  Soak the dressing packet in warm water (to defrost it) and simply open the crunchy topping when your food is ready to assemble.  The only “work” that goes into this salad is the minimal preparation; which consists of making your own salad (or dumping bagged salad into a bowl as I did), microwaving, opening pouches and consuming.
The Southwest-style chicken comes with grilled chicken, black beans, corn, roasted red peppers and poblano peppers.  For a crunchy topping there are crispy tortilla strips and it comes with a chipolte ranch dressing.   Overall I highly recommend these – they’re a great, quick and easy lunch/dinner.
Weight Watchers Points Plus wise this will cost you 6 Points Plus, which I feel is justifiable.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the Lean Cuisine Salad Additions?

Lean Cuisine Salad Additions – Asian-style Chicken

When I saw Lean Cuisine came out with these new Salad Additions, I instantly picked up this Asian-style Chicken because out of the line that was available at my local Wal-Mart (at the time) was very limited (2 flavors).  I wasn’t sure if it was going to be good – the good ole skeptic that I can be when it comes to frozen foods.  I will admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Lean Cuisine frozen dinners but I felt I would give this one a shot.  I mean, it’s salad, right?
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this!  The product comes with 3 individual plastic bags inside of the box.  You microwave the pouch containing the chicken and vegetables for the set amount of time.  Soak the dressing packet in warm water (to defrost it) and simply open the crunchy topping when your food is ready to assemble.  The only “work” that goes into this salad is the minimal preparation; which consists of making your own salad (or dumping bagged salad into a bowl as I did), microwaving, opening pouches and consuming.
The Asian-style chicken came with grilled chicken, edamame, pineapple, broccoli and carrots.  For a crunchy topping there are chow mein noodles and it comes with a really delicious sesame ginger salad vinaigrette.   Overall I highly recommend these – they’re a great, quick and easy lunch/dinner.
Weight Watchers Points Plus wise this will cost you 7 Points Plus, which I feel is truly justifiable.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the Lean Cuisine Salad Additions?

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