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Moroccan Kale, Lentil, and Fennel Salad with Blood Orange Tahini Dressing

Moroccan Kale, Lentil, and Fennel Salad with Blood Orange Tahini Dressing

With summer quickly approaching, I have salads on the brain. Predictably part of this is due to the impending bathing suit season. You know the one, where wearing a bathing suit doesn’t mean hiding alone in the backyard but going places with other people and wearing a bathing suit season. It’s here, almost. The other more appealing reason I have salads on the brain is that big, delicious, veggie packed salads are one of my favorite things to eat during summer months. With the abundance of amazing produce, hot nights, and the crisp and refreshing nature of salads, they are my go-to dinner.

So when a gorgeous box of artisan foods from Golden Door arrived at my door step in anticipation of the Eat Write Retreat in Chicago at the end of the month, I couldn’t wait to dive in and create an amazing summer salad. Golden Door makes a delicious line of healthy soups, rice dishes, preserves, marmalade, sauces, seasonings and sweets that are organic, vegan, gluten-and soy-free and all their profits go to charity. And did I mention they are delicious?

After mulling over the products, I knew immediately that I wanted to use the Blood Orange Marmalade and Moroccan Moroccan Harari Lentil Soup Mix with red lentils. (Although this is technically a soup mix, I decided to adjust the preparation and use less water to just make delicious Moroccan spiced lentils.) I loved the idea of combining the earthy, spicy lentils with a tangy and sweet blood orange marmalade dressing. From there I added kale, fennel, and fresh oranges to make a crazy good salad that I will be eating all summer.

Kale, Lentil, and Fennel Salad
Moroccan Kale, Lentil, and Fennel Salad with Blood Orange Tahini Dressing
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 2 cups

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

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Sunday Slow Cooker: Chorizo Spiced Pulled Pork

Sunday Slow Cooker:  Chorizo Spiced Pulled Pork

I was basically drooling when I originally saw this recipe on Serious Eats. Between my love of pulled pork and my love of chorizo, I knew I would absolutely love this recipe. However I also knew I needed to lighten it up a bit since pork shoulder tends to be a much fattier and higher calorie cut. To make it a little more diet friendly, I decided to use a lean pork tenderloin and substitute in chicken broth for the beer. It worked perfectly and I am in love with the resulting dish. It’s perfect for sandwiches and tacos.

Curious about the slaw? It’s coming your way this week!

Slow Cooker Chorizo Spiced Pulled Pork
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Nutritional Info: 188 calories, 6g of fat, 7.1g of carbohydrates, 1.5g of fiber, 25.6g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *

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

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Healthy Meal Planning Made Easy & Week 25 Meal Plan

Healthy Meal Planning Made Easy & Week 25 Meal Plan

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Once a week, I am going to start sharing a tip, trick, or some interesting information about meal planning. I believe meal planning is critical to any long term and effective healthy living or weight loss goals. For me it was the single thing that finally made permanent weight loss achievable. The quote stood true, when I failed to plan, I failed, and I don’t want that to happen to others.

Additionally, I believe that meal planning is a skill that takes time to master and we can all use some help! When I first started meal planning it took up countless hours pouring over recipes, calculating nutritional info and/or points, and creating elaborate calendars. It was painful. Anything I can do to ease that pain for someone else is a win-win in my book.

Finally, I hope by sharing meal planning strategies, it will help you find a system that works for you. Whether it’s using our meal plans, scratching one into your weekly planner, or creating your own meal planning system – I hope this feature inspires you to start planning at least a few meals every week. It will save you time, money, and it truly will help you reach your weight loss and healthy living goals. So with that, on to this week’s tip!

Meal Planning Made Easy: Get the Family Involved!

Being in charge of the family’s meal and meal planning can be overwhelming. Not only are you looking for healthy recipes that fit your dietary needs, you are also try to please multiple people who likely all have different preferences. To take the some of the pressure off choosing meals – get the whole family involved!

Each week ask one or more family members to choose one or more of your weeknight meals. Depending on their age, and ability to choose something healthy, you may have them research recipes on their own or choose from a list of family favorites. This not only gets them involved but alleviates some of the pressure on you!

Then when it’s time for their meal, get them involved with meal prep. Have them help with chopping veggies, mixing, setting the table, or doing the dishes. Making meal time and meal planning an activity everyone participates in makes it more fun for everyone.

Love the idea of meal planning but don’t want to do all the work? Since I know that many people simply don’t have the time to create their own healthy meal plans, we provide delicious and healthy meal plans at Slender Kitchen.

Here are some highlights from this week’s healthy meal plans:

  • Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
  • Spinach Pesto Pasta
  • Spinach Pesto Zuccchini Noodles with Chicken (low carb plan)
  • Zucchini, Corn, and Tomato Frittata
  • Strawberry Quinoa Salad (vegetarian plan)
  • Crispy Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
  • Grilled Jalapeno Popper Chicken
  • General Tso’s Chicken
  • Grilled Jalapeno Popper Cauliflower (vegetarian plan)
  • Open Faced Turkey Patty Melts
  • Oat Banana Pancakes
  • & more

Each healthy weekly meal plan comes full of delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meal plans come in regular, vegetarian, and low carb options. All feature complete nutritional information, Weight Watchers PointsPlus®, and categorized shopping lists! There are also two bonus fallback recipes weekly and the option for either a complete meal plan or a Dinner Only plan. All that for less the cost of one cup of coffee per month with the yearly plan.

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Dairy Free Curried Sweet Potato Salad

Dairy Free Curried Sweet Potato Salad

This past weekend, I went to a great barbecue but had the challenge of bringing a side dish that met a huge array of dietary needs. We had a few vegans, some Paleo friends, and a couple doing the Whole 30 among us. Since my friend knew I would be up for the challenge, she tasked me with bringing a hearty side dish.

After lots of thinking, I decided to start with sweet potatoes since they’re filling, nutritious, and work for all three diets. From there, I knew I needed to come up with a nondairy dressing to pull everything together. I was immediately inspired by red Thai curry paste since it pairs amazingly well with sweet potatoes. I needed creaminess so I opted for an avocado to replace the typical mayo or yogurt, and then rounded out the flavors with lime juice, tahini (sesame seed butter), and roasted red peppers. Then I added cilantro for freshness and the result was one amazing side dish. Seriously. I highly recommend making it for your next BBQ or summer dinner.

Curried Sweet Potato Salad
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Nutritional Info: 146 calories, 4g of fat, 26g of carbohydrates, 5g of fiber, 3g of protein, 5 g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 *

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

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Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card with Mountain High Yoghurt

Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card with Mountain High Yoghurt

Last week I shared one of my new favorite summer dips made with Mountain High Yoghurt and this week I want to get you in on the action so you can start creating delicious summer recipes.

With summer around the corner, Mountain High Yoghurt makes a great substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise, and even butter in many summer recipes. You can use it in creamy potato or coleslaw recipes, muffins and cookies, and more. For example, by substituting plain low fat yoghurt for mayonnaise, you can reduce the calories by 81%! (Mayonnaise has 92 calories per ounce versus just 17 calories in low fat yoghurt). Additionally, Mountain High Yoghurt is perfect for smoothies, parfaits, protein shakes, popsicles, or simple any combinations of yoghurt and fruit or nuts and seeds are a great way to start your day or for a snack.

Ready to try out your own Mountain High Yoghurt creations and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Just take the following simple steps to enter.

  1. Head over to Mountain High Yoghurt and click on “Creations” to find amazing recipes, craft ideas, and more.
  2. Leave a comment below sharing what recipe or craft you are most excited to try using Mountain High Yoghurt.
  3. Bonus entry: Follow Slender Kitchen (@slenderkitchen) on Instagram for an extra chance to win! Leave a comment with your Instagram handle letting me know you are following! (You must complete both entries to receive the bonus entry.)

Save money on your next Mountain High Yoghurt purchase by downloading this $1 coupon here.

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Asian Quinoa and Turkey Stir-Fry

Asian Quinoa and Turkey Stir-Fry

Lately I have been all about the stir-fry. At least once or twice a week, I am loading up a wok or skillet with protein, tons of veggies, and a quick sauce. Normally my stir-fries lean in an Asian direction since I am partial to any combination of soy sauce, Sriracha, Hoisin, curry, or other Asian flavors. Lately this has included some Chinese 5 spice, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite spice blends. It’s a combination of anise, Szechuan peppercorns, cloves, fennel, and cinnamon and it’s delicious. Since it can be strong, I recommend starting with 1 tsp. and adding more depending on your preference. Some people will want it to be subtle and others will like it bold and up front. In terms of veggies for this stir-fry, I recommend looking for a cabbage based Asian vegetable mix. Mine had a few types of cabbage, carrots, kale, Brussel sprouts, pea pods, and broccoli slaw. Whatever you choose, just make sure it is quick cooking.

Asian Quinoa and Turkey Stir-Fry
Servings: 4
Serving Size: about 2 cups
Nutritional Info: 349 calories, 10.9g of fat, 29.7g of carbohydrates, 6.4g of fiber, 34.4g of protein, 5.3g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 8 *

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

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