Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I love rotisserie chickens! There’s a grocery store where I live, and you can get 2 of them for only $10.00. I think that’s a steal. I like using them to make easy recipes like this Chicken Ranch Pasta. The chicken is already cooked, so all I had to do was make the sauce and boil the noodles. Super simple.
I was really tempted to put this pasta in a casserole dish and make it into a mac and cheese casserole, but the sauce was super yummy I didn’t want to wait any longer to eat it. I tried making this first with some left over bacon grease in the pan (I really strained much of it) and a pepper jack cheese, but the sauce ended up being really gross and griny. I made it again with out the bacon grease and it was much better. This pasta dish has two of my favorite ingredients in it that pretty much can make anything better: ranch and bacon! I’d like to try making this again, but a mac and cheese version of it instead. Another recipe winner I found on pinterest.

Weight Watchers - Chicken Ranch Pasta

Servings: 4

Points Plus: 10

Recipe from Just a Pinch


Author: Jenna
½ lb whole wheat penne pasta
4 slice bacon, diced
½ Tbsp light butter
1 large chicken breast, boneless & skinless, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
½ pkg ranch dressing mix ( ½ oz)
1 c fat free milk
½ c fat free shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; drain, return to pot, and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain all but ½ tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the reserved bacon drippings, then add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until tender, no longer pink, and slightly browned.
Sprinkle the flour and ranch dressing mix over the chicken, stirring to coat evenly. Stir in the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese and half of the reserved bacon; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Serve each plate of pasta with more bacon sprinkled over the top.
Weight Watcher Points Plus: 10

Weight Watchers Fast Food Guide – 7 Points or Less

I try to avoid fast food restaurants if possible but sometimes it doesn’t happen like that. Thankfully with the Weight Watchers program, you can still eat off of the Fast Food Menu and lose weight (within point reason). Below is a list of some of the popular restaurants that I found have a reasonable menu that are 7 points or less on the Points Plus or Smart Points plan.

If you are thinking about starting on the Weight Watchers program find out how you can do it for free here.

PP = Points Plus
SP = Smart Points


Jr. Roast Beef Sandwich – 6PP, 7SP
Jr. Ham & Cheddar Sandwich – 5PP, 6SP
Roast Turkey Chopped Salad – 6PP, 7SP
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing – 4PP, 5SP
Brewed Iced Tea (small) – 0PP, 0SP
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing – 6PP, 7SP
Ham n Cheese Slider on Wheat – 5PP, 6SP
jalapeno Roast Beef n Cheese Slider on Wheat – 6PP, 7SP
Light Italian Dressing – 0PP, 1SP
Prime Cut Chicken Tenders (2 ct.) – 6PP, 6SP
Roast Beef n Cheese Slider on Wheat – 6PP, 7SP


Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap – 6PP, 7SP
Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken – 6PP, 6SP
Side Salad (no dressing) – 0PP, 0SP
Apple Slices – 0PP, 0SP
Non-fat Latte with Sugar-free French Vanilla Syrup (small) – 4PP, 5SP
Chicken McNuggets (4ct.) – 5PP, 5SP
Fruit n Yogurt Parfait – 4PP, 7SP
Hash Brown – 4PP, 5SP
French Fries (small) – 6PP, 7SP
Kiddie Cone – 1PP, 2SP

Taco Bell

Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco – 4PP, 4SP
Beefy Mini Quesadilla – 6PP, 7SP
Cheese Roll-Up – 5PP, 6SP
Cinnamon Twists – 5PP, 7SP
Fresco Crunchy Taco, Beef – 4PP, 5SP
Fresco Soft Taco, Shredded Chicken – 4PP, 4SP
A.M. Grilled Taco – Bacon – 6PP, 7SP
A.M. Grilled Taco – Egg & Cheese – 5PP, 5SP
Cinnabon Delights (2pack) – 4PP, 6SP
Hashbrown – 5PP, 5SP
Rainforest Coffee with Nestle-Mate Original Creamer (1 creamer) – 1PP, 1SP
Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla – 5PP, 5SP
Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Supreme – 5PP, 6SP
Soft Taco Supreme – 6PP, 7SP
Black Beans & Rice – 5PP, 5SP
Crunchy Taco – 5PP, 5SP
Fiery Doritos Locos Taco – 5PP, 5SP


Large Chili – 7PP, 7SP
Jr. Hamburger – 7PP, 7SP
Grilled Chicken Go Wrap – 7PP, 7SP
Seasoned Homestyle Potatoes (breakfast) – 6PP, 7SP
Steel-Cut Oatmeal, plain – 5PP, 5SP
Chicken Nuggets – Spicy or Regular (4ct.) – 5PP, 5SP
Spicy Chicken Nuggets (6ct.) – 7PP, 7SP
BBQ Dipping Sauce – 1PP, 2SP
Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (no dressing) – 5PP, 4SP
Light Ranch Dressing – 1PP, 2SP
Italian Vinaigrette – 2PP, 2SP
1/4 lb. Hamburger Patty (no bun) – 6PP, 7SP
Caesar Side Salad (no dressing) – 2PP, 2SP
Value Fries – 6PP, 7SP

Burger King

2% Latte Small – 4PP, 7SP
Bacon Cheeseburger – 7PP, 7SP
Blue Raspberry ICEE (small) – 3PP, 6SP
Chicken Nuggets (4ct.) – 5PP, 6SP
Homestyle Chicken Strips (2ct.) – 6PP, 6SP
Iced Coffee (small) – 3PP, 7SP
Onion Rings (value) – 4PP, 5SP
French Fries (value) – 5PP, 6SP
Soft Serve Cup – 4PP, 7SP


Honey Almond Greek Yogurt Parfait – 6PP, 7SP
Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat – 6PP, 7SP
Plain Cream Cheese (1oz.) – 3PP, 5SP
Reduced Fat Roasted Vegetable Medley Cream Cheese (1oz.) – 2PP, 3SP
Petite Chocolate Chipper Cookie – 3PP, 5SP
Country or Rye Bread (2oz.) – 4PP, 4SP
Dark Roast, Hazelnut, or Light Roast Coffee – Plain (16oz. or 20oz.) – 1PP, 1SP
Mediterranean & Quinoa Salad with Almonds (half salad – no dressing) – 7PP, 7SP
Classic Salad (whole salad) – 5PP, 7SP
BBQ Ranch Dressing 1 1/2 Tbsp – 2PP, 3SP
Reduced Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette 1 1/2 Tbsp – 2PP, 3SP
Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto (1 cup) – 2PP, 3SP


Extra Crispy Chicken Whole Wing – 5PP, 5SP
Coleslaw (individual) – 5PP, 7SP
Mashed Potatoes (individual) – 3PP, 3SP
Extra Crispy Chicken Drumstick – 4PP, 4SP
Grilled Chicken Breast – 5PP, 3SP
Grilled Chicken Drumstick – 3PP, 3SP
Grilled Chicken Thigh – 4PP, 4SP
Grilled Chicken Whole Wing – 2PP, 2SP
Spicy Crispy Drumstick – 4PP, 4SP
Spicy Crispy Whole Wing – 5PP, 5SP
Chicken Little (without sauce) – 6PP, 6SP
Biscuit – 5PP, 7SP
Extra Crispy Tenders (2ct.) – 6PP, 6SP


Nuggets (8ct.) – 7PP, 6SP
Grilled Nuggets (8ct.) – 3PP, 2SP
Grilled Nuggets (12ct.) – 5PP, 3SP
Grilled Market Salad (no dressing) – 5PP, 5SP
Chicken Tortilla Soup (medium) – 7PP, 7SP
Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup (medium) – 4PP, 4SP
Sweet Tea (small) – 3PP, 6SP
Chick-fil-A Sauce – 4PP, 6SP
Fat-Free Honey Mustard Dressing – 2PP, 5SP

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Leftover Corned Beef Low-Carb Reuben Bake

If you don't have leftover corned beef, get some at the deli to make this Leftover Corned Beef Reuben Bake. This low-carb and gluten-free casserole has all the flavors that make reuben sandwiches so popular!

Leftover Corned Beef Low-Carb Reuben Bake
(Makes about 8 servings; recipe adapted by Kalyn and Kara from Reuben Bake on My Recipes.)

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 lbs.)
1/3 cup sour cream (regular or light, but not fat free)
1 cup + 1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onion
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 medium head green cabbage (enough to make 4-5 packed cups sliced cabbage)
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)
2 cups leftover corned beef, shredded and then chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup Thousand Island Dressing (look for the lowest carb dressing you can find; I used Litehouse Thousand Island Dressing with 3 carbs per tablespoon)

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.  Fill a pot half fill with water, add a little salt and bring to a boil.  While the water heats, trim away the leaves from the cauliflower, keeping the stems; then coarsely chop cauliflower.  When the water is nearly boiling, add the cauliflower, turn heat to medium, and cook the cauliflower 10-11 minutes or until it's barely starting to get tender.  (Don't overcook or the mashed cauliflower will be mushy.)  Dump cauliflower into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain at least 5 minutes so it's not wet.

Put cooked cauliflower back into the pan you cooked it in, add the sour cream, and use an Immersion Blender or Hand Mixer to puree the cauliflower.  (Don't overblend; I kept it slightly chunky.  Remember it's going to cook more in the oven.)  Mix in the cup of grated Swiss Cheese and the green onions.

Remove any wilted outer leaves of cabbage, cut the cabbage into quarters, and cut away and discard the core.  Then slice cabbage about 3/8 inch thick.  Shred the corned beef apart into strips and chop to make bite-sized pieces.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan (I used my favorite Green Pan to cook the cabbage.)  When the oil is hot, add the cabbage, turn heat to medium, and saute the cabbage about 4 minutes, or until it is starting to slightly brown on some edges.  Add the corned beef and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Turn off heat and let the pan cool down for a minute or two, then stir in the Thousand Island dressing.

Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.  (The two dishes I made this in were both about 9" x 12".)  Put half the mashed cauliflower into the dish and spread into a flat layer.  Put the cabbage-corned beef mixture on top of the layer of cauliflower and sprinkle with 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese.  Spread the rest of the mashed cauliflower in a layer on top of that, and sprinkle the cauliflower with another 3/4 cup grated cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling hot and the cheese is starting to lightly brown on top.  Serve hot.

Monday, January 9, 2017

14 Easy Ways to Add Extra Protein to Every Meal

Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, which is why we partnered with thinkThin® protein bars to show you some simple swaps you can make to add more of the good stuff to every meal.

If you are still struggling with those last five pounds or sick and tired of that under-arm jiggle, it's time to up the healthy protein in your diet. And no surprise — going with low-calorie, low-fat options is a must when trying to lose weight. Not sure where to start? You might be surprised with how easy it is to sneak proteins (that actually taste good!) into your daily eats, leaving you feeling full longer — and helping to lower your total body fat. Goodbye, muffin top — hello, slim hips!

Crazy for quinoa: Instead of making rice for dinner, try quinoa instead. This protein-packed grain is versatile and delicious with any meal. Swap for rice in homemade sushi, use instead of pasta, or add cooked quinoa to pancake batter for a pop of flavor — and extra protein!
Blend in beans: Tossing a handful of pinto, black, or cannelini beans into a recipe boosts flavor and adds a kick of protein — even your morning smoothie.

Add protein powder: Protein powder is just about the easiest way to sneak protein into all your eats. Scoop into your smoothie, baked goods, or even salad dressing. Vegans: don't assume protein powder is off the table for you; Try plant-based rice, soy, or hemp powders to get that much-needed boost.
Reach for avocado: Ditch butter and use avocado instead. Along with adding a smooth flavor, avocados are packed with protein and are high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which helps diminish belly fat. Add a few to your favorite healthy lunches and you're not only boosting protein intake, you're on your way to a flat belly!

Super seed: With a whopping 11 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving, a sprinkle of chia seeds ands flavor and crunch to any meal. Get creative and use chia for baking muffins or whip up a delicious and decadent pudding.
Sweet peas: Toss a handful of fresh peas in your salad or soup for a big pop of fresh flavor and 8 grams of protein per cup. Bonus: a fresh pea soup really hits the spot on a hot Summer afternoon.

Smart swap: You might love that dollop of sour cream on your baked potato, but swapping it for Greek-style yogurt instead adds protein to any dish. You can kick mayo, sour cream, and other high-fat options to the curb with this swap, too. Plus, hello helpful probiotics!
Tofu love: Tofu is easy to add to recipes without even realizing it! From smooth dips to healthy desserts, there are so many delicious tofu recipes that sneak this creamy protein into your diet.
Artichoke it! If you're already a fan of this unique veggie, get excited because one medium artichoke has just about 4 grams of protein, making it a great addition to any meal. Filled with healthy iron and calcium, one medium choke also has 20 percent of your daily fiber needs.
Cottage cheese, please: One cup of low-fat cottage cheese has a whopping 28 grams of protein, so it's a smart option when you're in need of a snack. And if you're not a fan of that cottage cheese tang, part-skim ricotta cheese is another option with one cup equaling the same amount of protein.

Get eggy: With six grams of protein per egg, chop hard-boiled eggs and sprinkle over salads for extra protein and healthy nutrients such as omega-3s, which helps your heart and lowers cholesterol. Tired of the basic scramble? Elevate eggs to whole new level with protein-filled recipes that deliver any time of day.
Go nuts: Really, snacking on nuts is a delicious and easy way to get your protein on. Almonds top the charts with six grams of protein per one ounce serving, with cashews taking second with five grams per one ounce handful. You can bake with almonds, toss them in your morning smoothie, or sprinkle over your salad at lunch.

Bring on the broccoli: All green leafy veggies are high in protein, but broccoli is the big winner with eight grams of protein per cup of the good stuff. If you're not a fan, puree steamed broccoli with ricotta or cottage cheese to create a sauce for whole-wheat linguini or toss in your morning smoothie for a burst of protein.
Edama-ME!: Get sneaky with one of the biggest protein blasts around — edamame! With only 95 calories per half-cup serving, the baby soybeans are filled with 8.5 grams of protein and iron, calcium, folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. Sure, you can snack on them as is, but there are so many other tasty ways to eat edamame.

With 20 grams of protein wrapped in rich chocolate and made in a variety of delicious flavors, thinkThin® High Protein Bars offer a portable, nutritious snack to help satisfy hunger and boost energy. Each gluten-free bar has 0 grams sugar and is certified low glycemic.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


This Lasagna Stuffed Peppers recipe is so good that you won’t even miss the noodles.  The Tomato Meat Sauce Recipe used in this recipe is a great recipe to make ahead of time.  It keeps well in the freezer and can be used for so many different dishes. If you are a big fan of stuffed peppers like I am, check out my round up of 36 Low Carb Stuffed Pepper Recipes.

Lasagna Stuffed Peppers – Low Carb, Gluten-Free
Rate this recipe 
2 ratings
Prep Time: 14 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 8 Servings
Serving Size: 1 Pepper Cup

1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large orange bell pepper
2 ½ cups Tomato Meat Sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp Italian seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 400° Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove ribs and seeds. Place pepper halves on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack.
  3. Remove peppers from oven. Fill each pepper with ¼ cup tomato meat sauce.
  4. Next, spoon 2 tbsp of ricotta cheese on top of the meat sauce in each pepper cup. Pour an additional 1 tbsp meat sauce on top of the ricotta cheese.
  5. Top each pepper with 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Bake on middle rack for 12 minutes.
  6. Remove peppers from oven. Top each pepper with 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Bake 5 additional minutes on top rack.
Makes 8 Servings | Per Serving: Calories: 204 | Fat: 11g | Protein: 18g

| Net Carbs: 8g