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Broccoli Cheddar Rice Cups

Broccoli Cheddar Rice Cups

Awhile back I went on a bit of a cupcake spree making lasagna, barbecue meatloaf, quiche, and macaroni and cheese cupcakes. They were the perfect little snack to have around the house and made a great companion to soup or a quick salad for lunch. And my four year old self loves eating anything shaped like a cupcake. So today’s recipe is a trip back down memory lane to my days of turning real food into cupcakes or muffins or cups – whatever you want to call them. And I am quite sure these would trick any child (or adult) into scarfing down their vegetables. Feel free to try different cheese, veggie, and spice combinations. Next time I am thinking maybe diced peppers and a little ground beef for a twist on a stuffed pepper.

Broccoli Cheddar Rice Cups
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 rice cup
Nutritional Info: 95.7 calories, 2.8g of fat, 13.2g carbohydrates, 1.9g dietary fiber, 5.4g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 2 * (more…)

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

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you are not a pumpkin lover, feel free to cover your eyes. Yes, there is more pumpkin coming, this time in the form of healthy pumpkin, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies. Now a slight warning about these cookies – it may be more appropriate to call them a mix between a granola bar, a cookie, and dare I say baked oatmeal. They are soft and sweet and really delicious with lots of pumpkin flavor and chocolate studded throughout. I definitely had two this morning with my coffee. But they are not a traditional cookie with only 1 tbsp of oil and honey as the only sweetener (besides the chocolate). Not a fan of pumpkin? Although I haven’t tried it, I bet mashed banana would work great in this recipe.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Servings: 18
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Nutritional Info: 82.7 calories, 3.3g of fat, 12.2g carbohydrates, 1.5g dietary fiber, 2g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 2 * (more…)

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

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Sunday Slow Cooker: Beef Ragu

Sunday Slow Cooker:  Beef Ragu

As a kid the most amazing thing happened in my house every Friday. My Dad would get home from work and inevitably be carrying a large, overflowing cardboard box. He would drop it on the kitchen table and we would all run to the kitchen to see what was inside. Most of the time we were looking for dough-doughs – a magical fried dough creation I think my grandmother invented that we would toast and cover in cinnamon and sugar – but there were always other delicious treats as well – homemade macaroni and cheese (the best you’ve ever had), homemade pizza, the occasional chop suey, and always delicious, unbelievable spaghetti sauce.

Thinking back she must have made sauce every week because we were always stacked three high in the freezer and more always came. Neighbors and friends would ask for it and relatives would almost always take some home. Her sauce was famous. I really wish I would have learned to make that sauce. And today as I start to build my own repertoire of sauces, including today’s beef ragu – a slow cooked tomato sauce with shredded beef – I think a lot about my grandmother and make a mental note that someday, in the the very far off future, I want to be just like her and her magical Friday boxes.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu
Servings: 10
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Nutritional Info: 175.8 calories, 5.4g of fat, 3.8g carbohydrates, .9g dietary fiber, 27.4g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

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

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Friday Five: Healthy Comfort Food

Friday Five:  Healthy Comfort Food

This time of year screams comfort food. It’s just starting to get cold, sweaters are being pulled on, scarfs and gloves are out at night, and depending on where you live, the first signs of snow are beginning to land. And to me this is the perfect reason to whip up a batch of your favorite comfort food. What’s my favorite comfort food? Ugh – I don’t know. Macaroni and cheese, or maybe beef ragu, or perhaps beef stew, or this amazing seafood stew my aunt made one year for Christmas with crusty bread – it’s just too hard to decide. There are just too many delicious options and luckily there is a way to lighten up virtually all of them. Here are some great ones. What are your favorites?

1. Beef Stew, 5 P+
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about comfort food is beef stew. Not only does it make the house smell amazing when it is cooking, it overflows with tender beef, melty potatoes and carrots, and lots of deep, rich flavors. And although this recipe is made in a Dutch oven, you could easily make it in the crockpot. Feel free to adjust the recipes and add in your favorite herbs. Rosemary, thyme, sage, and even fresh oregano would all be delicious.

2. Macaroni and Cheese, 7 P+
Perhaps the most classic comfort food is macaroni and cheese. This is macaroni and cheese with a twist made with poblano peppers to add some spice. Personally I love macaroni and cheese this way because it warms you even more with the hint of spice. You can easily substitute in another veggie if peppers aren’t your thing – broccoli would be delicious, as would spinach or even some cubed butternut squash.

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

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Beef Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

Do you know how hard it is to take a pretty picture of fajitas? Maybe it’s just me but after what felt like hundred of attempts, I finally just settled for this photo. The food was getting cold and I was on the verge of ruining the meal for a photo. But even though this photo isn’t the best – these fajitas are simple and delicious. Start by whipping up your own fajita seasoning with spices you likely already have, toss in some flank steak and veggies, and you are good to go. I substituted flank steak in the recipe for a more traditional skirt steak because it is lower in fat and calories, but either would work. Serve up with your favorite fixings.

Beef Fajitas
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/4 mixture
Nutritional Info: 179.9 calories, 6.7g of fat, 9.2g carbohydrates, 1.3g dietary fiber, 24g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

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

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Cream Cheese Apple Coffee Cake

Cream Cheese Apple Coffee Cake

Happy Halloween!

As the mornings start to get a little colder and fall begins to really get into full swing, I find myself craving coffee and baked goods in the morning. For me this usually ends up meaning baked oatmeal or this week this lovely apple coffee cake. I debated what exactly to call it. It definitely isn’t a cake since it’s not overly sweet, but it’s not really a bread either, and it has a yummy cinnamon sugar topping so I ended up with coffee cake. And the batter is made with cream cheese and apple sauce which add lots of moisture without adding fat from butter or oil. It’s a delicious little bite of fall.

WApple Cake
Servings: 12
Serving Size: 1 slice
Nutritional Info: 162.4 calories, 1g of fat, 33.3g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 4.7g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

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