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Slow Cooker Sunday: Beef Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Sunday:  Beef Stroganoff

I am going to be honest. I had my doubts about this dish. Until this recipe, I had never had beef stroganoff before and most of the recipes for it involved lots of condensed soups and packets. Not really my cup of tea. However after numerous requests for a lightened up version, I started to do some more research and found out that beef stroganoff is just a simple beef dish with sour cream and mushrooms. That I could get behind. This lightened up version uses a leaner cut of beef slow cooked with mushrooms, reduced fat sour cream, and a touch of cream cheese to really make it creamy. You can serve it traditionally with egg noodles and I also found it pairs great with spaghetti squash. Also not to worry, I had a friend who loves beef stroganoff try the end result and she loved it. (I wouldn’t be the best judge since this was my first, although not last, experience with the dish.)

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Nutritional Info: 241 calories, 7.4g of fat, 7.2g of carbohydrates, .4g of fiber, 35.7g of protein, Sugars: 1.2g
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Friday Five: Low Calorie Ways to Spice Up a Salad

Friday Five:  Low Calorie Ways to Spice Up a Salad

I love a good salad and lately they have been my go to for lunches. However when I am reaching for salad for a meal, I want volume, and I mean real volume. I just don’t feel satisfied with a small, dainty salad as a meal. I want one packed with ingredients so it feels like I am eating a lot. So I tend to add tons of veggies and then lots of add ins to make it interesting, filling, and voluminous. Here are some of my favorites, what are yours?

1. Olives: 10 olives, 37 calories, 1 PointsPlus®

I love the saltiness and texture of olives in virtually any salad and you can eat a lot of them for under 40 calories. Pretty amazing. I find they add a ton of flavor and depth, and with good olives they can almost serve as a dressing. My favorites usually come from the olive bar since it let’s me mix and match lots of different kinds.

2. Crumbled Reduced Fat Goat or Feta Cheese: 2 tbsp, 35 calories 1 PointsPlus®

I love any type of crumbly cheese on my salad, but my two favorites are goat cheese and feta cheese. You can add two tablespoons, which is actually plenty, to any salad to add a ton of flavor. With the olives above, and a squeeze of lemon juice, you really don’t even need dressing.

3. Sunflower Seeds: 1 tbsp, 37 calories, 1 PointsPlus®

I like to add some nuttiness and added protein to a salad by tossing in some sunflower seeds. The key is to toast them in a saute pan before adding them so the flavor deepens. And don’t be worried about the serving size – 1 tbsp is actually a ton of sunflower seeds.

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Spicy Peanut Chicken

Spicy Peanut Chicken

I am always on the lookout for quick and easy week night meals, and although at first glance this recipe may look complex, it’s actually super easy and you might even have most of the ingredients on hand. Chicken breast is transformed into spicy peanutty goodness with a quick sauce of sesame oil, lime juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, and ginger. Then it is quickly cooked along with your favorite veggies and tossed in the sauce. Easy peasy. Dinner in under 20 minutes.

Peanut Noodles with Chicken
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
Nutritional Info: 222 calories, 5.5g of fat, 15.3g of carbohydrates, 4g of fiber, 30.6g of protein, Sugars: 6.7g
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Crispy Parmesan Onion Straws

Crispy Parmesan Onion Straws

In the world of burger side dishes, I will choose onion rings every time. Not the french fries, not the sweet potato fries, never the coleslaw or potato salad, always the almighty onion ring.

Normally when I want to make a healthier version of onion rings at home, I make these Baked Barbecue Rings but lately I have been experimenting with some lower carb versions and this one came out terrific. The onions are sliced into thin strips and then tossed with olive oil, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, and lots of black pepper. Then they are roasted until they are just about to burn. Really…keep them in there until you think if you left them in one minute longer they would burn to a crisp, some of the really thin ones may even burn. If you love onions like me, these will quickly become a favorite, they are seriously addictive and delicious. Crispy Parmesan Onion Straws
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Nutritional Information: 77 calories, 5.1g of fat, 5.5g of carbohydrates, 1.3g of fiber, 2.7g of protein, 2.4g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 2 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Slow Cooker Sunday: Jerk Chicken

Slow Cooker Sunday:  Jerk Chicken

I live next door to the most amazing Caribbean place – they serve to-die-for jerk chicken, coconut fried chicken (don’t even get me started), fresh aguas, and plantains. It is one of my favorite places to go with friends for a fun night out since it is BYOB and has great outdoor seating. Since my last visit, I have been dreaming about trying to recreate this at home. Normally in a recipe like this I would opt for skin-off chicken but I wanted to keep this more authentic and use the whole chicken as it is traditionally prepared. Feel free to substitute in chicken breasts, thighs, or pork tenderloin. It freezes great so make up a big batch and enjoy. It’s seriously delicious.

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken
Servings: 8
Serving Size: varies
Nutritional Info: varies
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: Drumstick 2 , Wing 3 , Thigh 4 , 4 oz Breast 5 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Friday Five: Satisfy Pizza Cravings

Friday Five:  Satisfy Pizza Cravings

Pizza is delicious, like really delicious – but sometimes it can be hard to satisfy pizza cravings in a healthy way. So this weekend instead of passing on your pizza cravings and trying to satisfy them with salad (never works!), let’s make pizza! There are all sorts of ways to lighten things up and everything will still taste delicious. I promise. My personal favorites on this list – Skillet Pizza, BBQ Chicken Pizza, and I still can’t get enough of the low carb Zucchini Pepperoni pizzas even though I haven’t been eating them consistently or over 2 years. How do you satisfy your pizza cravings?

1. Skillet Pizzas, 8 PointsPlus® for whole pizza, 310 calories

This simple and delicious pizza is one of my favorite ways to make pizza because it is simple, quick, and always turns out with a crispy crust. You can add any toppings or cheese and best of all the whole pizza is only 8 points. Just make sure to pay attention to the stats on your pizza dough because they can vary substantially.

2. Portabella Pizzas, 1 PointsPlus®, 50 calories

These simple little veggie pizzas are a staple for me as lunches and snacks. I use all types of veggies as the base, including zucchini rounds, summer squash, and eggplant. Then I mix up the toppings so it always seems like I am having something new. For 1 point a piece, they are a great snack to have around.

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