Spinach Dip

I had some spinach to use up, so I decided to do a quick Google search to find out what I could make with it. Originally I wanted to make a spinach pasta dish my mother made when I was younger … but in all honesty, I cannot remember exactly what it was, and when I asked her she couldn’t recall. I found a Hot Spinach Dip recipe from Skinnytaste’s website see here.
Looking over the ingredients I realized I didn’t have all of them and I felt it would be wasteful to go to the store just to buy the items I was missing … so I decided to shake it up. It came out perfectly! I ate it for a few days and even shared some with my mother and her friend, who in turn asked me how I made it so they could make it at home.  This will become a staple recipe for me because it makes for a perfectly filling snack.
Serves 5-10. Serves 10: ¼ cup serving, 2 points plus values. Serves 5: ½ cup serving, 3 points plus values.
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, dry (all liquid squeezed out)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (I used jarred garlic)
  • 5 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 2 1/3 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
Place diced onion in a microwave safe bowl, add 1 tbsp of water and microwave for 30-40 seconds until onions are translucent.
Squeeze all liquid out of the spinach and place into a bowl.  Add in cooked onion, garlic, mayonnaise and sour cream. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Sprinkle in parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and shredded mozzarella cheese. Blend until combined.
Cover mixture and let marinate in the refrigerator for at a minimum 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place dip into baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.

Blueberries & Creme Crepe

This is an oldie but a goody so I wanted to share – my attempt at a blueberry compote & cream crepe. I haven’t made these in a while, simply because I forgot I had this recipe on hand. I like crepes in the fall time, so I’ll probably make this again next month. These crepes are finger licking (or plate licking if you’re into that sort of thing – haha) good.

I followed the Skinnytaste recipe for Czech Crepes (Recipe here) to make the crepe batter, but I used my own recipe to make the blueberry compote. After making the batter I took out my smaller frying pan, coated it with non-stick cooking spray and over a medium flame, poured in 1/4c batter, swirled it around the pan and let it brown. Since I don’t have a crepe pen, I used a small dish, slid the crepe out onto the dish, and then returned it back to the pan to cook the other side. Transferring the partially cooked crepe to a plate and transferring back to the pan took the most time but it wasn’t a painstaking process. It actually became easier the more I made. Since I didn’t make the whip cream and fruit as the initial recipe shows, I threw the crepe recipe into Recipe Builder and it provides a 2 points plus values for each crepe (I made 12).

I made my blueberry compote (Recipe here) to dress the crepes. Sweet, slightly tart, and pure deliciousness – plus it’s only 1 points plus value per serving. When added to the crepe it really brings it home. It truly reminded me of blueberry pierogies my grandmother used to make when I was a kid.

To top off the blueberry compote I had a tub of Fat Free Cool Whip that I placed 2 tbsp on top of the blueberries and folded it shut. You can use as little or as much as you’d like but adjust your points plus accordingly. It was SO yummy and definitely a hit! Not bad for a 3 points plus value dessert in which no one knows is Weight Watchers friendly!

Have you ever made crepes at home?

Skinnytaste Low Fat Banana Nut Bread

I had some ripe bananas on the counter that needed to be put to good use. I’m very picky with bananas if they start to get brown spots on them, I don’t want to eat them so I typically let them sit to get browner so I can make a dessert with them.  I had an over abundance of bananas to use up so I decided to make banana bread so I could bring a bread to my dad for Father’s Day (since banana bread is one of his favorites).
I followed the recipe exactly as listed and it was so easy to make.  The most time consuming part is waiting for them to finish baking.  I let them sit overnight to cool completely, wrapped one up and brought it over to my dad the next day and the remaining banana bread I kept for the house.  My boyfriend is a big fan of banana bread and he was enjoying it. I had a slice and it was seriously delicious.  The greatest part was 1/13th of each individual bread is 4 points plus (with the walnuts).
My dad had some banana bread later on in the day when I had given it to him, so he gave me a call to let me know it was delicious.  Winning banana bread!
To see the recipe I followed to make these yummy banana breads, see here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/11/makeover-banana-nut-bread-3-pts.html

Have you made banana bread at home?

Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken w/ White Rice & Stir Fried Vegetable Roll

This is a meal that took team work. By team work I mean my boyfriend prepped and started the chicken and when I got home from work I finished off the dish by steaming some rice (in the rice pot) and browning off some vegetable rolls in the oven.
I don’t enjoy getting caught into food ruts where I eat the same things all the time.  My body doesn’t like it and I truly notice a difference on the scale when I’m eating the same types of things.  When I notice a pattern forming, I tend to pre-plan meals, on paper, to get a better perspective as to what I’m going to be eating to switch it up and to stick to that plan.  One of the meals I decided to try was by Skinnytaste.  I have yet to make a Skinnytaste recipe that I did not like so I figured this one would not only be fool proof, but it’d also be delicious.
I left the printed recipe with my boyfriend, so he cleaned the chicken and measured out all the ingredients and got the crock pot starting while I was at work.  When I got home from work the chicken was ready to be shredded, so I started the rice pot, deposited some frozen vegetable rolls into the oven and dinner was going to happen in 30-minutes or less.
I have to say this was a delicious meal.  It had that “take out” vibe to it but it was completely healthy and filling. The shredded chicken was loaded with flavor, the Trader Joe’s Stir Fried Vegetable Roll (which happens to be vegan and I wasn’t aware of that until the past month) were also delicious.  I found they were packed with flavor and had a nice crunch to them.  You can see my review on these rolls here: http://shannonslifestyle.blogspot.com/2013/03/trader-joes-trader-mings-stir-fried.html. That crunch didn’t withstand a night in the refrigerator, but sitting down at dinner it was a homerun.
The whole plate was 12 points plus values. Definitely worth it and a LOT less points than if I was to order Chinese food in.
To see the Skinnytaste Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken recipe, click here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/crock-pot-sesame-honey-chicken.html
Have you tried the Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken recipe or the Trader Joe’s Stir Fried Vegetable Rolls?

Skinnytaste’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

When I saw this recipe on the Skinnytaste website I knew I had to make it.  I printed out the recipe and put it on my potential Easter dessert list.  My boyfriend mentioned that it would probably be wise to make the dessert before Easter to try them just incase it wasn’t a hit (I think he really just wanted peanut butter pie).  So, I picked up the ingredients and decided to substitute the Better n Peanut Butter for PB2.  I used the exact same measurements (1/3 cup PB2) although I did mix it with about 2 tablespoons of water just to make it into a smoother consistency.  The points plus values are still the same even with this particular substitution.

The pie is outstanding and was a hit at dinner.  It’s got a really nice airy consistency and taste just like a peanut butter pie should.  Smooth, creamy and delicious.  It was so good my mother asked me to make the pie for Easter.  In fact she asked me to make TWO pies for Easter so since I had chocolate PB2 and regular PB2, I made one of each.  Both are fabulous and both were a hit at Easter.
Have you tried Skinnytaste’s Peanut Butter Pie?  If so, have you substituted the Better n Peanut Butter for any other peanut butter?

Skinnytaste Healthy Cookies (3 ingredient cookies!)

A couple weeks ago we had bananas on the counter that way were too overripe to eat.  Granted, I don’t like to eat bananas if they start to develop brown spots, but these were banana bread ready brown.
I remembered seeing a cookie on the Skinnytaste website that only used 3 ingredients and I made a mental note to try them whenever we had bananas ready.  I’ve made cookies before that included 5 ingredients, but anything to simplify a process and also reduce the Points Plus value I am all for it!  I mean for 1 point plus value a cookie – how can you go wrong?
I made 1 ½ batches because I had 3 bananas.  Quite possibly the easiest thing I have made – there is no screwing this one up.  Mash your bananas up in a bowl, add in your quick cooking oats and add in your chopped walnuts. Mix. Place mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake.  It can’t possibly get any easier.  The most “difficult” part is the counting.
My thoughts? These are quite good warm and straight out of the oven, but I don’t necessarily like them after they’ve cooled overnight.  They’re not sweet and the walnuts give it that nice crunch.  Without the walnuts (or if you’re allergic I’d say substitute with mini chocolate chips or diced up raisins) they’d be lack luster and a little boring. They remind me of homemade banana bread with oatmeal in it. My boyfriend was quite a fan.

Skinnytaste’s Cheeseburger Casserole

The moment I saw Gina post her Cheeseburger Casserole recipe on her Skinnytaste recipe, I immediately printed the recipe out and planned on making it because it just looked and sounded amazing!
I followed her recipe to a T.  The only thing I changed was that I reduced the amount of cheese being used since my boyfriend is not a cheese fan; I removed 1/3 of the recipe from the pan.  So to adjust for that, I removed 1/3 of the cheese for the recipe.  What I can say is while it’s cooking, it smells amazing and while you’re eating it it’s out of this world fabulous! The greatest part is that 1 cup is only 7 points plus.
It’s SUCH a unique flare on a classic staple food (a cheeseburger).  The pasta acts as though it’s the bread, the meat is plentiful, the flavor is overall amazing and the pickles on the top are indeed at first interesting but I find them to be quite pleasing because it gives the dish a nice salty flare (plus I love pickles).  Definitely two thumbs up for this dish!
If you are interested in the recipe, please find it here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/03/cheeseburger-casserole.html
Have you tried the Cheeseburger Casserole recipe?

Skinnytaste Turkey Stuffed Peppers

I’m an avid Skinnytaste fan so I recreate a lot of the recipes Gina publishes.  One of those recipes was for her Turkey Stuffed Peppers.
One thing with my cooking is I do tend to change up recipes just a bit to cater to my style and to my boyfriends taste.  In this case, I completely eliminated the use of cheese because I’ve never had stuffed peppers with cheese on them in my life and my boyfriend hates cheese – therefore it was unnecessary in my recipe and I was very happy with the result.  Even eliminating the cheese, the points plus stayed the same – which is fine with me because my normal homemade stuffed peppers (mom’s recipe) are a lot more than 5 points!
The preparation was quite simple, the whole thing was easy peasy.  The best part was the taste – it was delicious.  I admit, I ate mine with a little bit of ketchup on it because that’s how I grew up eating my stuffed peppers.
If you want the recipe, please find it here on the Skinnytaste site: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/11/turkey-stuffed-peppers-45-pts.html
Have you ever made turkey stuffed peppers?

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Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers

Two weeks ago I went ahead and tried out a Skinnytaste recipe I had printed out after a recommendation and decided to try it out.  I’ve had sausage with potatoes and peppers a million times before – but most of those times were pre-Weight Watchers.  Typically when I make roasted sausages with peppers and onions in the oven, I eliminate the potato and just cook everything up in the oven until done.  I have to say, adding the potato made it seem like it was a dish that was “bad for you” which made it so much better!
I weighed out and measured all the ingredients needed for the dish and was quite surprised at how MUCH there was in the pan and how little servings there were.  The entire pan was to be separated out into four servings.  Four GIGANTIC servings might I add.  It was so delicious that I will be making this again.  It cooked up so quickly in the oven.  Next time I’m going to switch out the sausage for a different flavoring to change it up a bit (the original was delicious but I know I have a few other sausage flavorings in the freezer).
I followed the recipe (http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/10/roasted-potatoes-chicken-sausage-and.html) as described except I eliminated the rosemary since I didn’t have any so I substituted for minced garlic (along with the powder garlic) and some oregano.  I love changing things up to my liking ;).  The ¼ of the serving was 8 Points Plus.
Overall two thumbs up.  Totally worth making again!  This would even be good to save half a serving to go along with some eggs in the morning!
Have you ever made a Skinnytaste recipe?