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About Kristen

I'm Kristen and I couldn't be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

I have always been in love with food, at times perhaps a little too much, wishing and sometimes willing myself to be one of those people who can eat whatever they want and still stay thin. I finally learned, the hard way, that just wasn't in my genetic makeup. So instead, I decided to learn to make delicious, good, real food that tasted great but didn't tip the scale in the wrong direction.

My current home is

Santa Monica, CA

Favorite healthy meal

Sesame Chicken

In the morning you can most often find me eating

Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, chia seeds, flax seeds, and a drizzle of honey

Favorite healthy snack

Cut up veggies with Buffalo Wing Hummus

To satisfy my sweet tooth, I reach for

Fruit with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or 3 ingredient Banana ice cream

My healthy living philosophy

Everything in moderation. After losing weight using the Weight Watchers diet, I now prescribe to everything in moderation. Being healthy is all about balance and finding a diet you can stick with in the long term.

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Here are my most recent posts:

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash: Four Options

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash:  Four Options

Spaghetti squash and I are best pals.

I mean, seriously, let’s talk about this magical little veggie. It’s low calorie with only 31 calories per cup. That means you can eat a huge portion – let’s say 3 cups if you are ambitious – for under 100 calories. The same amount of pasta would have six times as many calories. It’s also low carb, gluten free, plant based, Paleo friendly, clean eating friendly – I mean it works on pretty much any diet. Win. And then let’s talk about the most important thing – it’s delicious and super versatile. You can use it to replace pasta in almost any recipe, it’s delicious in Asian stir-fries, it makes an excellent side dish, it can be even be used as a pizza crust! (Looking for spaghetti squash recipes, click here.)

Now that you are hopefully convinced that spaghetti squash is the best thing ever. Let’s talk about how to cook it.

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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Sesame Roasted Carrots

Sesame Roasted Carrots

Lately the only way I want to eat veggies is roasted. I am on a major roasting kick. Typically I roast veggies in a simple combination of olive oil, salt, pepper, and perhaps some fresh herbs or garlic. Lately however I have been trying to move out of my comfort zone and experiment with some other oils and flavors. Since I love the nutty flavor of sesame oil, I imagined it would pair well with the sweetness of carrots and a touch of soy for salt. The results were delicious, especially with the ginger and garlic. Consider these for your next Asian inspired dish or roast up a big batch to add to salads during the week.

Sesame Roasted Carrots
Servings: 4
Serving Size: about 2/3 cup
Nutritional Info: 109 calories, 7g of fat, 11g of carbohydrates, 3g of fiber, 1g of protein, 6g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken

Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken

This recipe is one of the most popular recipes on Pinterest these days. The concept is simple – chicken that is baked in either yogurt or mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and spices, usually seasoned salt. The yogurt keeps the chicken very moist while it cooks and adds some great flavor when combined with the cheese and spices. To make everything taste fresher, I usually opt for fresh garlic, a bright spice mix or fresh herbs, and lemon zest but the basic recipe can work with virtually any spices.

Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken
Servings: 5
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Nutritional Info: 217 calories, 4g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, 0g of fiber, 40g of protein, 1g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Veggie Scramble with Avocado

Veggie Scramble with Avocado

We all ( I think!) have mornings when we wake up absolutely starving. You know what I mean, where it feels like your stomach was growling so loud it woke you up from a dead sleep? Well on those mornings, I find the best solution for me is something packed with protein and healthy fats. When I reach for something more carbohydrate heavy like cereal or oatmeal, I need a snack within the hour; but when I reach for things like eggs and avocado, I stay full much longer. On those days, this quick veggie scramble is a delicious and quick breakfast. You can use any vegetables you have on hand, just make sure to add the tomatoes and avocado, it really makes everything pop.

Veggie Scramble with Avocado
Servings: 4
Serving Size: about 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 279 calories, 19g of fat, 12g of carbohydrates, 6g of fiber, 16g of protein, 4g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 7 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Spicy Turkey Bolognese Spaghetti Squash

Spicy Turkey Bolognese Spaghetti Squash

I feel like I could have a whole blog dedicated to spaghetti squash with how often I consume it. Its a bi or ever tri-weekly occurrence and I don’t really know what I would do without it. While I like to mix things up and try recipes like spicy Asian spaghetti squash, spaghetti squash Greek salad, or spaghetti squash meat lasagna boats just to name a few, today’s recipe is actually what you will find me eating most often. Usually I make up a big batch of the sauce every few weeks and freeze it in individual portions and then just roast or microwave a spaghetti squash when its meal time. Easy, spicy, and delicious.

Spicy Turkey Bolognese Spaghetti Squash
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/2 spaghetti squash
Nutritional Info: 298 calories, 8g of fat, 32g of carbohydrates, 7g of fiber, 31g of protein, 0g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 8 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Friday Five: Tools to Help You Stay on Track

Friday Five:  Tools to Help You Stay on Track

We are officially just over halfway through January and coming on the third week of healthy resolutions, goals, and plans for many people, myself included. In my opinion, this is the time it really starts to get hard. The novelty of the goal is starting to wear off, the end results/goals feel incredibly far away, and the difficulty of living differently day to day is starting to get challenging. Let’s face it – change is hard. Usually around this time, knowing I need some extra inspiration, I try to do a few things to stay motivated.

First – I do a quick assessment of how far I have come so far. Personally I am down about 4 pounds since January 1st. While that doesn’t feel like a lot now, if I play that forward to where I will be by the end of March – I am really excited. More importantly, I feel much better since I am eating better. I have more energy, sleep better, and have stopped beating myself up about poor diet choices because I am just not making them as often.

Secondly around this time, I usually set up some kind of reward for myself if I make it to the end of the month. Small steps. This could be anything that will keep you motivated – a massage (my choice!), a new outfit, a new kitchen appliance, whatever will keep you going.

Lastly, I usually do some goal related retail therapy. I know it’s not the best way, but sometimes buying something to help me reach my goal gets me excited again. For example, a few years back when I bought the portion plate below – it just made meal time easier, no more measuring. Last year I got a fitness tracker and I found myself motivated to reach the daily goals. The numbers on the screen were motivating. This year, I will probably go with a new spiralizer since mine is on the outs. Whatever it is, sometimes these tools really make a difference. So with that, here are some of my favorites! What are yours?

1. Meal Measure Portion Control Plate – Two years ago this plate was the first thing I tried that really helped me change my habits when it came to portion sizes. The set-up makes it incredibly easy to portion things out without lots of scales and measuring cups and it’s dishwasher safe. If you struggle with portion size, this is a great investment for under $15.

2. Spiralizer – I use my spiralizer 2-3 times a week to make vegetable noodles for replacing pasta, creating yummy side dishes, and salads. I truly couldn’t live without this.

3. PB2, Powdered Lower Calorie Peanut Butter – PB2 is a lower calorie peanut butter powder that can be great for people who tend to over do it with nut butters. It doesn’t have the same protein benefits of regular nut butters but has fewer calories and tastes great.

4. Fitness Trackers – Last year I invested in my first fitness tracker (a Fitbit) and I love it. Even though I never thought I would be one of those people, I am totally motivated to reach my daily goals for working out and steps.

5. New Cookbooks – Whenever I get bored with food, I usually look into a new cookbook. This gets me excited to prepare meals and also exposes me to new ideas.

6. Meal Plans – Meal plans, like the ones we provide on Slender Kitchen, can be a great way to stay on track and motivated. It exposes you to lots of delicious and new recipes and makes staying on a healthy eating plan really simple. The saying is true, “fail to plan, plan to fail.”

7. Quest Bars – I tend to shy away from any kind of bars, but I do cave and have Quest bars from time to time. They are low in carbohydrates and sugar which I find appealing and they have a cult like following of people who bake them, microwave them, and make all sorts of crazy desserts using Quest bars.

8. Amazing Grass Green Powders – For quick protein and nutrients, I always add something extra to my smoothies and lately I have been obsessed with the Amazing Grass powders. They are packed with good for you nutrients and the flavors are pretty great too.

9. Stevia – Stevia can be pretty polarizing but personally I use it a lot. Mostly I add it to smoothies, oatmeal, and sometimes in place of sugar in sauces when cooking. Although I didn’t love the taste at first, now it doesn’t bother me at all.

10. Eat Smart Scale – I have a love hate relationship with scales because I can easily get obsessive. However I do try and weigh myself weekly and then hide the scale the rest of the week so I don’t step on it daily. I have had this one for awhile and it’s great.

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