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Sunday Slow Cooker: Red Beans and Rice

Sunday Slow Cooker: Red Beans and Rice

This meal is a bit like a warm hug that lasts the perfect amount of time from someone you haven’t seen in awhile. It’s familiar, it’s cozy, it brings back some wonderful memories, and its easy. Not like that awkward half hug, side hug, or my personal nemesis the not welcome hug where one person goes in for the hug and the other person stands rigidly praying for it to end. I am usually a giver of these, not the receiver. It’s just awkward.

But back to the good hug that you’ll get from this recipe. It’s one of those simple and hearty recipes that only takes a couple of minutes to throw together and tastes great. Personally I like it with some smushed avocado on top. You can also throw in some browned ground beef or turkey, sausage (yum!), and vegetarian crumbles if you want to add even more flavor.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Servings: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 200.1 calories, 1g of fat, 38.6g of carbohydrates, 12.6g of fiber, 10.5g of protein
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: Get Out and Grill

Friday Five:  Get Out and Grill

I apologize in advance if you live in Colorado and just got an April snow storm. I completely agree, it’s not fair. Not fair at all. Instead of pulling out summer shorts, you had to unpack the winter puffer and wipe your car off one more time. Maybe you can store away this post for the warmer weather that must be coming your way. Or if you are hardcore (i.e. crazy) like the grilling women in my family, you can brave the elements and grill anyway. My Mom would grill in a blizzard, and probably forget to wear her jacket. No, seriously. (That’s why we love her) I am partial to a grill pan when the weather doesn’t go my way. No matter how you grill – inside, outside, warm weather, or all weather – these recipes taste great.

What are your favorite grilling recipes? Bonus points for grilled dessert ideas!

1. Sriracha Barbecue Chicken, 5 P+

This is one of my favorite all time grilling recipes. If you like barbecue and heat, you will love this recipe. Usually I grill up a double or triple batch with some simple grilled veggies, and use it all week long for salads, pizza (yum!), and rice bowls. It also works great with chicken breasts or pork tenderloin if chicken thighs aren’t your thing.

2. Grilled Eggplant Caprese

I love this recipe from Serious Eats for a grilled version of a classic Caprese salad. The eggplant is gently grilled and then stacked with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil. The points plus and calories will depend on how much cheese and olive oil you use, but it is a very easy dish to keep low in points.

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

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Chocolate Breakfast Shake

Chocolate Breakfast Shake

Alright, I already know what you’re thinking…chocolate breakfast shake? Awesome…until you read that the first ingredient is tofu. In your head your already taking a couple of steps back, but stay with me, I promise the result tastes nothing like tofu and is a great way to start your day. The tofu in this recipe does two magical things. First, it packs the shake with protein that will keep you full all morning and is a great way to refuel after a workout. Secondly, it makes the shake smooth and silky, almost pudding like. Other than that, it just hides out in the background. And no one would judge you if you put a dollop of whipped cream on top, mix in some coffee, or drop in some strawberries.

Chocolate Breakfast Shake
Servings: 1 servings
Serving Size: 1 shake
Nutritional Info: 240.8 calories, 6.1g of fat, 45g of carbohydrates, 6g of fiber, 13.4g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 7 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Quinoa Zucchini Meatballs

Quinoa Zucchini Meatballs

Whenever I make a vegetarian version of a recipe, or vegetarian recipe for that matter, I have a mental (and moral) battle about whether or not I should tell the boyfriend. Tell him and there is the chance that he won’t even take a bite. Don’t tell him and well, I am either outright lying or lying by omission. And my often given rationale about unbiased “recipe testing” usually isn’t much of a consolation.

However lucky for me, this time he scooped one up before I had the chance to tell him. The results? A hint of shock and a smile of approval. For a quinoa zucchini meatball in my home, this is the culinary equivalent of hitting a home run. Quinoa meatballs: 1. Meat loving boyfriend: 0.

Quinoa Zucchini Meatballs
Servings: 4 servings
Serving Size: 4 meatballs
Nutritional Info: 191.2 calories, 5.9g of fat, 25.9g of carbohydrates, 3.9g of fiber, 9g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

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

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Pray for Boston

Pray for Boston

It feels impossible to know what to say in the wake of a tragedy like the one that struck yesterday in Boston. I feel angry, threatened, vulnerable. I feel shocked, saddened, sickened. I feel scared, raw, shaken. I still can’t comprehend how something like this can happen.

Yet amidst all of this, like many of us, I feel grateful and lucky. I feel grateful that my loved ones made it safely through the events that transpired yesterday as they waited near the finish line for friends and family members to cross when the bomb went off. I feel lucky to be from a city that has united together in the face of such a selfish act. I feel proud when I see the outpouring of support, compassion, care, and willingness of strangers to help in anyway they can. And I feel gratitude that there are so many heroes among us who run towards the face of danger instead of from it.

Tomorrow I will return to regular blogging, but today we remember, we pray, we hug the ones we love, and we admire and honor the strength of the the victims and the many brave souls who ran to help in the face of tragedy.

Over the days and weeks to come, there will be many of ways that we can all unite together and help Boston. Here are some ways to start helping today.

  • The Red Cross says the best way to help right now is to get in touch with loved ones through its Safe And Well Listings. The organization is not asking for blood donations at this time.
  • The Salvation Army is offering food, beverages and crisis counseling to survivors and first responders. Find out how you can get involved here.
  • Some marathon runners are stranded in Boston and in need of places to stay. Find out how you can offer housing here.
  • Anyone with info about the incident can call 1-800-494-TIPS.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this horrible tragedy.

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

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Steel Cut Oatmeal Muffins

Steel Cut Oatmeal Muffins

Lately I have been having a bit of a focus problem. It basically goes like this. Sit at my computer, make a to-do-list for the day, ignore said to-do-list and spend an hour (and a half) catching up on my favorite blogs. Break for breakfast and coffee. Sit back at my computer determined to refocus. Spend an exorbitant amount of time in my inbox with zero efficiency. Break for a mid-morning snack and more coffee. Sit back down and maybe crank out 30 minutes of solid work before distraction returns. You get the idea. I could go on like this for another five paragraphs but I will save you the time, and distraction. Moral of the story is that I need to get my focus “mojo” back.

Cue the irony. So instead just trying to focus and work on Friday, I spent more time than I care to admit, googling tips for focusing, one of which suggested that steel cut oats and blueberries, among other foods, can help you focus. Cue today’s post and these yummy steel cut oat muffins. I can’t vouch yet that they will improve my focus but they did keep me full and tasted delicious. You can use any toppings you like, but I suggest making a variety to keep things interesting. One quick note on the recipe, if you can’t find quick cooking steel cut oats, soak your oats for 24 hours in water first.

Steel Cut Oatmeal Cups
Servings: 6 servings
Serving Size: about 1 muffin
Nutritional Info: 154.4 calories, 1.8g of fat, 31.5g of carbohydrates, 3.4g of fiber, 6.1g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 * (more…)

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

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