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Slow Cooker Sunday: Chicken Barbacoa

Slow Cooker Sunday:  Chicken Barbacoa

Sometimes plans don’t always go as planned.

This past week was full of that for me. No matter how hard I tried there just didn’t seem to be enough minutes in the day. So when my plan to make one of my favorite dishes, Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa, fell apart, I needed a quick substitute that I could make with things I had on hand and throw together in just a couple of minutes. Seeing some frozen chicken breasts and a can of chipotle peppers in adobo, I decided to try out a quick version of barbacoa with chicken. I relied on the smoky chipotles to add the depth of flavor you usually get from the dried chiles along with some simple spices. The result is an incredibly simple and delicious dish.

Slow Cooker Chicken Barbacoa
Servings: 6 servings
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (6 oz.)
Nutritional Info: 209.8 calories, 5.7g of fat, 4.3g of carbohydrates, .5g of fiber, 34.1g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

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

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Friday Five: 100 Calorie Snacks

Friday Five:  100 Calorie Snacks

Lately I have been snacking like a person obsessed. Literally. Usually I spend time procrastinating by dreaming about meals and new recipes, but lately all I can think about is snacks. Maybe its because I have started running longer distances and am just finding myself hungry more often, maybe its the challenge of creating something fun and interesting that doesn’t break the calorie bank, who knows? However here are some of my current favorite 100 calorie snacks.

What are your favorites?


1. Zucchini Pepperoni Pizzas

At just 57 calories per pizza, these are one of my absolute favorite low calorie snacks. I usually like to roast some zucchini and portabella mushrooms at the beginning of the week and then quickly assemble them during the week for a quick, low calorie snack. They also make a great lunch, just up the portion size.

2. Quiche Cupcakes
If you have been reading the blog for awhile you are probably sick of hearing about these Quiche Cupcakes, but they are truly a favorite and something I have on hand almost every day for quick snacking. At just 40 calories per cupcake, you can have two and still stay under 100 calories. They are also incredibly versatile and you can pretty much mix in any flavors you like.

3. Carrot Chips with Skinny Ranch
Raw baby carrots and ranch is a pretty classic snack combo for anyone dieting, but why not elevate it by roasting some carrot chips and making your own, healthy skinny ranch at home. Oven roasted carrots get crispy and delicious and dipped in a ranch made with fresh herbs and Greek yogurt keeps your snack healthy and free of the chemicals and preservatives found in most packaged light ranch dressings. Best of all, the whole snack comes in at just 88 calories.

4. Peanut Butter Pretzel Rice Crispie Treats
At just 93 calories for a pretty large square, these treats may quickly become a favorite new snack. They have a great combo of salty and sweet and make a great snack alongside coffee or tea. I usually have one as an afternoon pick me up or sometimes as dessert. When I have some calories to spare, my favorite way to eat them is crumbled over low fat ice cream. Yum.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Today let’s talk about dressing up your yogurt. Plain yogurt on its own just isn’t very exciting, but is full of protein and nutrients that are great for your body. So to make sure you get all these great benefits without adding lots of preservatives and artificial ingredients, its vital to have some delicious ways to doctor up your yogurt. For most of us this means some kind or fruit, maybe some nuts, a touch of honey, maybe a few spoonfuls of cereal, and we are good to go.

That’s until you try the Noosa Strawberry Rhubarb yogurt from Colorado. The second I tried it, I became obsessed with making my own. I experimented with some different strawberry rhubarb compote recipes – some with ginger, some with honey/agave, some without citrus, and this was my favorite. Mixed into some Greek or plain yogurt and it makes the perfect breakfast treat. It would also be delicious with chicken or pork, over ice cream or frozen yogurt, spread on toast, or even as a sandwich spread. Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Servings: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Nutritional Info: 58.1 calories, .4g of fat, 16.6g of carbohydrates, 2.5g of fiber, .8g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 1 * (more…)

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

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Baked Tortilla Chips

Baked Tortilla Chips

It’s hard to really call this a recipe. It’s more of a technique to make your own at home tortilla chips. Not only are they cheaper and healthier then store bought baked chips, you also get to control the seasoning and doctor them up however you like. Depending on what I am serving them with, I have been known to sprinkle them with cumin, chile powder, some lime juice, Zatar, curry powder, and even a little cinnamon and sugar.

Baked Tortilla Chips
Servings: 4 servings
Serving Size: 12 chips
Nutritional Info: varies
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 2 *
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* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Quinoa Chipotle Meatballs

Quinoa Chipotle Meatballs

I am a little obsessed lately with quinoa meatballs. I made them a few weeks back with zucchini and then proceeded to make them three more times for pasta, sandwiches, and my personal favorite – tacos. There is a popular Mexican dish, albondigas, that is essentially meatballs cooked in a tomato, chipotle sauce and then smushed into tacos and sprinkled with a little cilantro and onion. They are dreamy. So this dish is simply a meatless version of that household favorite, made with some mushrooms and smoky chipotle peppers. They work great in a bunch of recipes so plan on making some extras for sandwiches, pasta, and definitely leftover tacos.

Quinoa Chipotle Meatballs
Servings: 5 servings
Serving Size: 6 meatballs
Nutritional Info: 182.4 calories, 4.6g of fat, 29.8g of carbohydrates, 4.7g of fiber, 7.8g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

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

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Friday Five: On My Nightstand

Friday Five:  On My Nightstand

Let’s talk books today. As a kid I was a pretty voracious reader, you know the cool kind that stays up past their bedtime with a flashlight under the covers reading and begs their parents to order a ungodly amount of books from their school’s book orders. That kind of cool kid. Ha.

But in all sincerity, lately I have been thinking alot about how appreciative I am that I found a love of reading and books as a kid. I think this love of reading came from my Dad, who being a pretty cool cat himself, showed me that it was cool to read. He still churns through books at a pretty unparallelled pace, and as a kid seeing him reading every night in his armchair, made me want to do the same. So I did. And fell in love.

So this week, as I find myself appreciating this love for reading more and more as I get older, I thought I would share some of my recent favorites. What are you reading?

1. Heft, Liz Moore
I absolutely adored this book and actually have started to like it even more since I finished. Heft tells the story of two parallel characters – an extremely overweight recluse professor and 18 year old, want to be Major League baseball player – whose lives cross. It’s a great read, surprisingly honest and raw, and tells the story of loneliness and regret of these two, seemingly unconnected men.

2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson
My Aunt turned me on to this book and I loved it, even though it should come with a warning not to read in public unless you are comfortable with cringing with noticeable embarrassment (the same kind you feel when you watch Girls) and/or ugly laughing in public. A slight warning, if you are easily offended this book may not be for you, but I though it was hilarious and a great read.

3. Anything by Emily Giffin
When I want a great beach or girly read, I immediately look for the latest Emily Giffin books. My old roommate initially turned me onto these books and I devoured the first three in about two weeks. Since then I am constantly on the look out for her latest work and the newest, Where We Belong, did not disappoint.

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