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Cranberry Orange Smoothie

Cranberry Orange Smoothie

As you know I have been on a bit of a smoothie kick lately, so when I was approached by Ocean Spray to create a smoothie recipe with their Diet Cranberry Juice, I jumped at it. With only 5 calories per serving, their Diet Juices are a great way to enjoy juice without all the extra calories. They also make a great addition to smoothies with just the right amount tartness and sweetness, eliminating the need to add extra sugar or honey. For this smoothie I wanted to incorporate a classic pairing of orange and cranberry, as well as some spice with cinnamon and vanilla extract. The banana and berries add additional vitamins and fiber. Everything combines to make a refreshing and delicious treat.

Cranberry Orange Smoothie
Servings: 2 servings
Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
Nutritional Info: 129.7 calories, .6g of fat, 29.7g of carbohydrates, 3.8g of fiber, 3.7g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3 *

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

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Sunday Slow Cooker: Ropa Vieja

Sunday Slow Cooker: Ropa Vieja

I am a sucker for a good food story. Stone soup gets me pretty much every time. So when I began researching where the name Ropa Vieja came from, which literally means “old clothes” in Spanish, my heart melted when I read this story. According to folklore…there was once a very poor man who wanted to plan a special meal for his family who was coming home from a long journey. With no food to be found in his home and no money to purchase food, he went to his closet and gathered some old clothes. He then begin to cook these old clothes in a stew, pouring his love into the stew as he stirred and prepared for his family to return. When his family finally arrived, the old clothes had magically transformed into a wonderful beef stew. I mean c’mon. So sweet. So today I am happy to share my love with all of you with this simple, homey recipe for Ropa Vieja.

Crockpot Ropa Vieja
Servings: 6 servings
Serving Size: about 1/2 cup
Nutritional Info: 190.8 calories, 6.1g of fat, 5.2g of carbohydrates, 1.6g of fiber, 24.1g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 *

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

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Friday Five: Sweets with Built in Portion Control

Friday Five:  Sweets with Built in Portion Control

Does anyone remember that episode of Real Housewives of Orange County when 3 bites into their group dessert, Alexis oh so casually unscrews the salt shaker and dumps the entire contents onto the dessert? (Insert moment of shame that I watched, ok watch, Real Housewives) Well while the typical reaction to that scene was probably along the lines of what a “insert expletive!” my first response was “brilliant.”

At the time I had a major issues with portion control and was grasping at straws to find ways to control it so this seemed like a brilliant, albeit wasteful idea. I knew at that moment, I had to take some big steps to get things under control. First I ordered one of these portion control plates. I know they look a bit silly but it totally worked for me. Second, I started individually packing snacks and trigger foods into portion controlled baggies. It took some extra time, but stopped me from mindlessly eating multiple portions. Finally I started cooking more recipes, especially for sweets, that had built in portion control since sometimes it is really hard to not go back for a second or third cookie or cupcake. Here are some of my favorites. What are yours?

On a quick side note while we are talking about sweets, over the weekend I bought some sugar free syrup for the first time in years and I am completely obsessed – Sugarfree Salted Caramel Syrup. I have already put it on ice cream, in coffee and hot chocolate, in a smoothie with bananas, and may try baking with it soon. Swoon.

1. Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting For Two, 6 P+

I first shared these cupcakes for two at Valentine’s Day and have been making them ever since. I use the chocolate cupcake base, which only has 4 P+, for all sorts of delicious desserts. My recent favorite is broken up into a bowl with some light whipped cream and strawberries for a chocolate strawberry shortcake. I also sometimes mix some PB2 into the baking mix for a chocolate, peanut butter cake. Yum.

2. Stone Fruit Crisp For One, 3-4 P+

Fruit crisp is easily one of my all time favorite desserts. It all started with my Aunt who made an amazing blueberry crispy that we requested almost daily every summer, and has since evolved into a love of all things crisp. This simple stone fruit crisp for one takes advantage of whatever fruit you have on hand and adds the crisp right on top. Perfect for one and much healthier than the typical butter packed version.

3. Sugar Cookie Milkshake, 3 P+ with banana

This sugar cookie milkshake is delicious. It satisfies cravings for a milkshake and cookies (win-win) and comes in at only 3 points plus and 120 calories. Sometimes I mix in some malted milk or cocoa powder to create new flavors. It also makes a delicious breakfast smoothie if you are in the mood for something sweet.

4. Mississippi Mud Pie For One, 7 P+

Although this dessert is a bit higher in calories and points, it combines pudding, cake, and chocolate chips for one delicious dessert. You can make it in just about three minutes and being packed with so much chocolate is sure to cure any chocolate cravings.

5. Chocolate Banana Mug Cake, 5 P+

The last dessert is one of my favorites and combines my favorite combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas. Everything is mixed together and then placed in the microwave for a delicious dessert in under three minutes. It also is packed with protein, which keeps it some great staying power for a mid-day snack.

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Carrot Orange Mango Smoothie

Carrot Orange Mango Smoothie

I have been on a bit of a smoothie kick lately and would love to know how y’all calculate points for smoothies. There is a bit of a controversy out there in Weight Watchers land about whether or not to count fruit in smoothies. Personally I usually don’t count it if it is whole fruit without any sugar added, but everyone seems to have a different opinion. What do you think? My leader told me its up to each individual person, but that if you consume multiple smoothies or go past the daily recommended servings of fruit, then you should start counting. Makes sense to me. But no matter how you count it, this smoothie is a keeper. Fresh carrot and orange juice blended with mango, pineapple, and just a hint of lime juice. It’s incredibly refreshing and makes a perfect post workout snack.

Carrot Orange Mango Smoothie
Servings: 1 servings
Serving Size: whole smoothie
Nutritional Info: 227.1 calories, 1.2g of fat, 54.9g of carbohydrates, 4.4g of fiber, 3.1g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 (3 without counting fruit) *

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

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Cheddar and Carrot Mac and Cheese

Cheddar and Carrot Mac and Cheese


When you make this recipe, you may just have to keep a secret for a minute from your loved ones. Learn from my mistake. Don’t start out with, “Isn’t it really cool – there is a pound of carrots hidden in this macaroni and cheese!” Because in fact it isn’t very cool for everyone. Most people aren’t stoked to learn you have adulterated their favorite meal with oh so many carrots. So just keep quiet and wait. Wait until they are a few spoonfuls of macaroni and cheese bliss deep, and then spill the beans, or carrots. There will be shock, tilted heads and raised eyebrows, but they will go back for more.

Cheddar and Carrot Mac and Cheese
Servings: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
Nutritional Info: 226.6 calories, 6.8g of fat, 35.8g of carbohydrates, 5.8g of fiber, 11.6g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *

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

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Rajas Con Queso

Rajas Con Queso

When we were in Sayulita last week on vacation, we ate at the most amazing little taco stand, Naty’s Cocina. Honestly I am still dreaming about it. They are family owned, only open from 9-2 daily, chock full of locals (always a good sign) and only serve a daily variety of tacos de guisados, which are warm and hearty tacos stuffed with stewed meat or vegetables. Better yet, they only charge 10 pesos (under $1!!) per taco. Let’s just say we ate their multiple mornings.

Since returning I have been seriously craving these tacos, especially the Rajas Con Queso – a stewed blend of poblano peppers, onions, corn, and cheese. So it was time to try and create it at home. To my surprise they are actually quite easy to make and much healthier than I would have guessed.

Rajas Con Queso
Servings: 8 servings
Serving Size: about 1/2-3/4 cup
Nutritional Info: 148.1 calories, 6g of fat, 14.8g of carbohydrates, 2.3g of fiber, 5.8g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *

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

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