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Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

I am always on the lookout for new side dishes that are quick, interesting, and add some variety to my normal steamed or sautéed veggies. Adding new vegetables is one way to switch up the routine – sugar snap peas are on of my favorites – but you can also switch up flavors by changing out your oil and spices. This simple recipe makes use of sesame oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds instead of my normal go-to of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make up a double batch and use the leftovers in salads, lettuce wraps, and rice bowls.

Sesame Sugar Snap Peas
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Nutritional Info: 63 calories, 4.6g of fat, 4.1g carbohydrates, 1.7g dietary fiber, 1.5g of protein
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 Roasted Corn Chowder

Slow Cooker  Roasted Corn Chowder

Corn chowder is one of my favorite soups around, but in winter months when corn isn’t readily available it can be hard to make one with lots of flavor. However I recently learned that roasting fresh, canned, or defrosted corn is a great way to develop flavor and add sweetness to off-season corn.

This soup starts with a bunch of roasted corn, veggies, a touch of spice from Poblanos, and vegetable broth. It cooks low and slow to develop deep flavors in the crockpot. Then in the last hour of cooking, we add the “chowder” creaminess by blending half of the soup and then adding skim milk and a touch of cream. The resulting soup is rich, creamy, and delicious. Make a big batch since it freezes great.

Slow Cooker Roasted Corn Chowder
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1.25 cups
Nutritional Info: 167 calories, 4g of fat, 26.3g carbohydrates, 3.7g dietary fiber, 8.8g of protein, 9.4g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Sunday Slow Cooker: Pepperoncini Beef aka Drip Beef

Sunday Slow Cooker: Pepperoncini Beef aka Drip Beef

This beef is really special. I first saw it over on The Pioneer Woman’s website and have made it multiple times for game-days, get-togethers, and as a base for multiple meals throughout the week. The idea is so simple – slow cooker beef with pepperoncinis, onions, and a touch of Italian seasoning – and the outcome is better than anything you could imagine. It’s terrific on sandwiches, over rice, turned into a quick beef stew, stuffed in peppers. You get the idea. I think it would taste good in just about anything.

Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Beef aka Drip Beef
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutritional Info: 203 calories, 6.8g of fat, 4.5g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 32.4g of protein, 1.1g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Friday Five: Last Minute Valentine’s Day Desserts

Friday Five:  Last Minute Valentine’s Day Desserts

To be honest, I have never really been much of a Valentine’s Day fan. I feel kind of meh about the whole thing. However one thing I can get behind is all the delicious desserts that pop up around the interwebs. So in honor of this Valentine’s Day, let’s share some delicious desserts to enjoy with your special someone, friends, family, or at home trying to avoid all the heart wrenching romantic, cry for days movies that are sure to be on TV all day.

1. Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheese Frosting, 189 calories, 5 PointsPlus®

Pretty much any man out there I know would be thrilled to come home to these boozy cupcakes with both beer and Bailey’s Irish Cream. And so would I if someone wants to whip some up for me.

2. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting, 141 calories, 5 PointsPlus®

Red velvet is perfect for Valentine’s Day and I love Emily’s twist by making peppermint cream cheese frosting. Since it is hard to find candy canes this time of year, just crush some peppermint candies instead.

3. Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Pie, 272 calories, 7 PointsPlus®

Don’t want to cook? Liz has you covered with this simple and delicious chocolate strawberry ice cream pie. Easy, delicious, and sure to please any crowd. It would be great with virtually any combination of ice cream and fruit. I may try it with coconut ice cream and pineapple.

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Elizabeth Lost 117 Pounds!

Weight Loss Wednesday:  Elizabeth Lost 117 Pounds!

Name: Elizabeth Hornick
Height: 5 ft
Starting Weight: 240.8 lbs
Current Weight: 123 lbs
Pounds Lost: 117.8 lbs
How long did it take you to lose the weight? A little over one year

Lightbulb Moment: I never had a real lightbulb moment where and when I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight. One day I really looked in the mirror and when I did that, I did not like what I saw. At that point, I didn’t know how I let myself get to be so unhealthy so I decided to make a change.

How did you do it? The first thing I did was join Weight Watchers in order to begin to eat healthier. I have been a Weight Watchers member since December 5th, 2012 and I attend weekly meetings in order to weigh in and learn more about nutrition. Through Weight Watchers, I have learned the importance of what you put into your body, portion control, maintaining a daily log which tracks food consumption and exercise, planning ahead, exercise, and making smarter more conscious food decisions. I became a lifetime member at Weight Watchers (which means I hit my goal weight which is within the BMI healthy weight range and maintained that goal weight for 6 weeks) on January 8, 2014. Another important change I made in order to live a healthier life was exercise.

What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? My support system was the single thing that helped me the most along the way especially when things got tough. My support system includes my loving family, my wonderful boyfriend, my Weight Watchers leader and the Weight Watchers members I met through my meetings, and other women that I met via social media that are also on a healthy lifestyle journey (especially an amazing group of around 45 women that started a Facebook support group to discuss all things surrounding living a healthy lifestyle and the challenges we face every day).

How has your life changed since losing the weight? My life is completely different now that I have lost weight and committed to a healthy lifestyle. I think the most noticeable change is that I have become a more confident individual and I have realized that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

Exercise routine: I now workout 4-6 times a week. I like to change things up exercise wise so I don’t get bored. My workouts include anything from cardio (elliptical, treadmill, bike, or Stairmaster) and weights (machines and free weights) at the gym, taking Hot Vinyasa Yoga classes at a local yoga studio, participating in cycle classes, running outside, taking long walks outside, and hiking. One thing I found that I truly enjoy is running in races. I have participated in several 5ks and plan on participating in many more races of different lengths.

Favorite breakfast: A sliced banana, ground cinnamon, rolled oats, and skim milk heated up in the microwave for about 2 minutes and topped with chia seeds and blueberries.

Favorite snack: 100 calorie cinnamon roast almonds and fruit

Favorite dinner: I love to cook so it is tough to pick one favorite dinner. I make an effort to try at least one new healthy dinner recipe each week in order to keep things fun and interesting. One of my current favorite dinners is making “skinnier” pizza using whole wheat crust, turkey pepperoni, and lots of veggies.

Advice for someone just starting: It is so important to plan ahead. For example, I typically make weekly meal plans, grocery lists, and workout schedules in order to plan for the week, I always pack my breakfast and lunch every night before I go to bed and pack my gym bag, and if I am going out to dinner, I ensure that I look at an online menu ahead of time (and search for nutritional information) to see what healthy options that have.

Anything else that you would like to share: If you are committed, there is nothing that you cannot achieve!

Have a weight loss story you would like to share? We would love to hear from you! Please email us at [email protected]

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Zucchini Beef Burgers

Zucchini Beef Burgers

In today’s edition of “hide the vegetables” we trick our meat loving friends into indulging in a zucchini laden beef burger…

One of my favorite requests is from folks looking to find secret ways to “hide” veggies to help unsuspecting “veggie haters” get more greens in their diet. One way I love to do this is with pasta sauce – like this Cauliflower Alfredo or Carrot Mac and Cheese – and burgers can be a surprisingly easy place to hide veggies. In this recipe we are going to add lots of shredded zucchini to our burger meat and impart some great flavors with spices so that the zucchini will go virtually undetected. Once you layer it into a hearty roll and load it up with condiments, no one will be wise to the fact that they are eating their veggies too.

Zucchini Beef Burgers
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 burger
Nutritional Info: 195 calories, 7.8g of fat, 6.9g carbohydrates, 1.3g dietary fiber, 23.8g of protein, 1.9g 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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