Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fiber One Chocolate Pudding

When I first saw the Fiber One Chocolate Pudding pop up on my local grocery stores shelves I purchased it (and the vanilla) right away. I enjoy Fiber One products and due to the nutrition facts I decided to give it a try.

The pouch houses 2 servings of pudding and it’s recommended to set it with skim milk.  After combining the two ingredients together, the instructions call for them to be beat together for 2-minutes. Usually with Jell-O pudding you can see the pudding thickening up before your eyes. But with the Fiber One pudding the pudding stays at a liquidy consistency after mixing for 2-minutes. After mixing, it calls to allow the pudding to set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. I admit, I was a little skeptical … but low and behold after 10 minutes the pudding was completely set. It’s a lot smoother pudding in comparison to Jell-O pudding, but mixing it with a spoon and serving it up you can’t really tell a difference. The pudding itself is sweet, chocolaty and quite filling. I enjoyed mine over sliced banana, while my boyfriend had his inside of a miniature graham cracker pie crust.

A serving (as packaged) is ½ the container which is 40 calories or 1 points plus value, or as prepared with skim milk a serving is 90 calories or 2 points plus values.

Kidz Zone Perfect Yellow Cupcake

I picked up a box of the Kidz Zone Perfect Yellow Cupcake nutrition bars at Target. I’m a fan of Zone Perfect nutrition bars … so when I saw a bar in a cupcake flavor, I had to give it a go. Sure, it’s marketed towards kids and I am not a kid, but alls fair in the cupcake war.

The bars are pretty decent size especially for being marketed towards kids.  The bars are encased in a thin fudge-like coating.  The bars themselves are chewy as some nutrition bars tend to be. There is a vanilla flavor which is far more prominent in flavor than a cupcake, but it’s doable, passable and not bad. I also found them to be satisfying, especially when in comparison to other snack size bars.

Each bar is 140 calories or 4 points plus values.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Angie’s Tutti Frutti Flavored Kettle Corn



There are hidden treasures and jewels scattered throughout Target stores around major holidays. For this Valentine’s Day there are flavored kettle corns being sold in Targets Valentine’s Day section.  There are two flavors available (if you can find them, they’re selling out quickly) and on of them is Angie’s Tutti Frutti Flavored Kettle Cornb.

The popcorn is packaged in small single serve bags (0.5oz) and are bundled in a large plastic carry bag, holding at least 20 bags of popcorn.  These are limited edition for Target stores and are selling for $4.99.  Granted if these are available after Valentine’s Day at your Target location they will be sold for a reduced price – typically 30-50% off. Great snacks for kids and adults alike, and they’re especially great because they come portioned which eliminated any thinking or temptation that might loom with a full sized bag of flavored kettle corn.

You’re probably wondering, what exactly does Tutti Frutti taste like? Well … the only thing I can rightfully compare it to would be Fruit Loops. If Fruit Loops cereal and kettle corn had a baby … it would be named Tutti Frutti. It’s lightly sweet, it’s salty, and it’s fruity which makes it all rather delicious. Each popcorn mound has a little bit of a pink hue to it, which I assume to be the tutti frutti flavoring.

Each individual bag is 70 calories or 2 points plus values.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Weight Watchers Good Deal Cookbook Haul

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … I’m a sucker for new Weight Watchers cookbooks. So of course when I walked into my meeting, I noticed there was a new cookbook on the shelf. Initially I didn’t purchase it, but after my meeting was over I picked up the cookbook, started to browse through it and because I was sold on trying out a few recipes I decided to purchase it.

The Weight Watchers Good Deal Cookbook is selling for $9.95 each which is quite a deal. Each recipe has the points plus values associated with it, along with the recommended serving size for those members who are still counting points and not following simple start.  The whole premise behind this cookbook is to provide tasty meals at a fraction of the cost. Frankly, it sounded good because cooking healthy can and does get costly. Plus, it’s always nice to get new meal ideas.

AquaFina Flavorsplash Sparkling Berry Loco

I’m always on the hunt for a new flavorful zero calorie beverage. I enjoy water, but sometimes it can get plain old boring … so I picked up the new AquaFina Flavorsplash Sparkling Berry Loco which is a four berry blended sparkling water. I’m not the biggest fan of sparkling waters, but there are a handful that I truly enjoy … and since this was a different flavor I had high hopes.

Unfortunately those high hopes were smashed to smithereens after the second sip. The first sip I thought it tasted okay … the second sip brought on a wave of complete and utter disgust.  It’s mildly bubbly carbonated water with disgusting artificial flavoring. It was so bad I screwed the cap back on the bottle and threw it right into the garbage.  I’m glad I only purchased 1 bottle to try because I won’t be wasting money buying any more flavors.

Of course a bottle of 0 calorie or 0 points plus.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sautéed Banana topped French Toast, Eggs & Sausage

French toast is one of my favorite breakfast dishes, but it’s also a breakfast dish I don’t have very often. Typically I make it when I’m craving it … and one night I decided to make French toast for dinner for my boyfriend and I. I of course, make my French toast using lighter ingredients (light bread and egg substitute).  It comes out perfectly, is delicious and is filling.

I placed a little more than 1/3 cup of egg substitute in a bowl, added in 2 tablespoons of skim milk, a dash of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Beat it together, then dipped three slices of light bread and cooked it up in a nonstick skillet.  Since I had a banana that was well past ripe, I decided to make myself a quick sautéed banana cooked in a non-stick skillet with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Once done I layered that over my French toast.

The remaining egg mixture (I used ½ cup total) I decided to make myself a little scrambled eggs and served the dish alongside 3 turkey sausage links.

It was a delicious meal which was only 7 points plus. Quite a bang for my buck!

Rotisserie Turkey Dinner



I had a Shady Brook Farms Rotisserie Turkey Breast Tenderloin in the freezer that I had picked up at the grocery store. While meal planning for the week I decided it’d be a great opportunity to give the turkey tenderloin a try. Granted, I had never tried it before, but since I enjoy the brands turkey sausages I figured this couldn’t be bad. It turned out to be quite delicious!

The packaging listed it could be put onto the grill or baked in the oven. Since I had a few cooking bags on hand, I decided to cook the tenderloins in a cooking bag to keep as much moisture in the turkey as I could. It turned out absolutely perfect. The turkey browned, it was flavorful and it was very moist.

As with most turkeys it was very low in points. A 4 ounce serving was 3 points plus, or a 5 ounce serving for 4 points plus.

Here’s what I had for dinner (which might I add was delicious, filling and a homerun):

5 ounces Rotisserie Turkey Tenderloin (4ppv)
½ cup garlic mashed potatoes (3ppv)
¼ cup Heinz fat free turkey gravy (0ppv)
2 tbsp cranberry sauce (1ppv)
French cut green beans
Steamed Brussels sprouts


Dannon Light & Fit Greek Blends Strawberry Cheesecake

After trying the Yoplait Light Greek Strawberry Cheesecake yogurt, I was asked if I had tried the Dannon. I had seen it at Wal-Mart but it was in a 6-pack with a flavor I wasn’t quite sure I’d enjoy so I passed up on it. After I had finished up a lot of my yogurts, I decided to swing by Wal-Mart to get a few groceries I can only get there and picked up the pack.  Dannon is one of my favorite light Greek yogurt brands and it’s the one I typically reach for at the super market.

I have to say the Dannon Light & Fit Greek Blends Strawberry Cheesecake really takes the cake on this flavor.  It’s very reminiscent of strawberry cheesecake, it’s nice and thick, and it’s just delicious. I didn’t pick up on any “crust” flavor but the yogurt itself reminds me of a strawberry cheesecake filling. Having this alongside some strawberries is just a delicious snack to rave about. So far I have only seen these sold at Wal-Mart, but I’m sure it’ll be popping up on grocery shelves elsewhere.

A serving is 80 calories or 2 points plus values.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cascadian Farm Organic Oatmeal Raisin Kid-Sized Bars

I spotted these Cascadian Farm Organic Oatmeal Raisin Kid-Sized Bars while out at the store and decided to pick them up. I figured they’d be good to have on hand whenever my sweet tooth showed itself or if I was looking for an alternative to oatmeal raisin cookies.  I haven’t tried any Cascadian Farm products in the past, but I’ve always heard rave reviews so I hoped for deliciousness … and deliciousness is what I got.

The oatmeal raisin bars are kid-sized which is just a way of saying “snack size”.  They’re good for a small snack if you’re looking for something sweet, but they’re certainly not a filling type of snack. They’re soft, chewy, sweet and overall quite delicious. They are one of the best oatmeal raisin snack bars I have tried and I was quite pleased with them.

Each bar is 80 calories or 2 points plus values.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Garden Lites Southwestern Soufflé



Last week I made a special trip to Target to pick up a few Garden Lites, While there, I decided to buy a few soufflés I haven’t tried in the past. One of the “newbies” I picked up was the Garden Lites Southwestern Soufflé. What truly sold me was the photo on the front of the box.

According to the box, the soufflé is a blend of vegetables, black beans, corn and spiced with a chipotle spice blend. The soufflé makeup is food items I typically enjoy, so I had high hopes for this … and it played out to be exceptionally good. The soufflé itself was light, but the outside crust has a bit of bite to it. It’s not watery or soft, it’s baked perfectly on the outside and the inside is still airy and delicious. Flavor wise it’s your classic southwestern flavor, mildly spiced but not overwhelming with the chipotle seasoning.  It’s filling, flavorful and made for a delicious breakfast, but it would also be a great lunch with a small side salad.

A container is 180 calories or 4 points plus values.

Banana Oatmeal



This is undoubtedly my favorite breakfast at the moment: Banana Oatmeal which is cooked in 2 ½ minutes in the microwave. It’s delicious, it’s plentiful and it truly keeps me satisfied all morning. I enjoy oatmeal, but before this, I truthfully never ate it very often. I include oatmeal in baked goods and I love it in overnight oats, but when it comes to eating oatmeal for breakfast, I would typically reach for a pack of instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is quick and easy, but I’ve found it’s usually not filling enough for me and it is a points plus “hog”.

A friend of mine and a fellow Instagrammer posted her favorite way to have oatmeal. I noticed the post, was intrigued and decided to give it a try one day. One morning when it started to snow, I decided the breakfast I planned for the day before wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted something warm and homey … so I gave the oatmeal a shot and have been obsessed/hooked since. It is filling, it’s thick, it’s reminiscent of banana bread, and it’s without doubt one of the easiest things to throw together. I truly crave this oatmeal … and that fact alone is astounding.

The greatest part? Its super low in points plus values! If mixing it with skim milk, it’s 4 points plus, if you mix it with unsweetened almond milk it’s only 3 points plus values. It’s low in point yet highly satisfying and delicious.

  • 1/3 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use vanilla) OR 1/2 cup Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Banana, sliced
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
  • Artificial sweetener packet (optional)
Slice a banana into a bowl, top it with oatmeal, cinnamon, sweetener and almond milk. Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir, and then place back into the microwave and heat for an additional 1 minute 15 seconds.

Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Chex

Chex have been on the market for the longest time, but I never truly purchased the cereal to eat until I noticed and purchased the Chex Vanilla. That cereal has since become a favorite but after finishing the box I decided to branch out and perhaps try a few different flavors. The flavor I opted to give a go was the Apple Cinnamon Chex.

According to the box, the cereal is sprinkled with real apple and cinnamon and for those who have a gluten intolerance the cereal is gluten free. You can definitely taste the apple cinnamon flavoring … which really reminds me of apple cinnamon instant oatmeal. Weird comparison, but it’s truly what it reminded me of after the first bite.  If you generally enjoy an apple cinnamon flavor, you’d more than likely enjoy this. It’s not a bad cereal, it’s flavored well, but it’s not one of my favorites. That is perhaps due to my comparison to the deliciousness that is Vanilla Chex.

A serving is ¾ cup which is 130 calories or 3 points plus values.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chipotle Chorizo Sauce



I purchased a package of Al Fresco Chipotle Chorizo chicken sausage (see here) at the grocery store. I’ve honestly never tried chipotle chorizo sausage in the past, but I’ve heard it’s a great flavorful meat selection. Al Fresco makes a line of one of my favorite chicken sausages, so I decided to give it a whirl.  The chipotle chorizo sausage actually is mixed with mango and adobo. Taking it out of the freezer I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it or how I was going to serve it.  After some thinking I decided on making a simple little sauce to serve with spaghetti squash and pasta.

The sauce was perfect. The sausage brought a level of heat to the dish which was unique and delicious.  Those with a blander palette may not enjoy this dish, but if you’re a fan of a bit of heat this may be right up your alley.

I served mine over spaghetti squash, which I topped with some fat free mozzarella. It was perfect, spicy and filling!

Serves 4. 5 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (4 links) Al Fresco All Natural Chipotle Chorizo Chicken Sausage, sliced
  • 26 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 medium bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning

In a large non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, over medium high heat add in sliced sausages and cook on both sides until crisped.

Once sausage is browned, place in a bowl and set aside.  Add onions, garlic and peppers to the pan. Season vegetables with black pepper, salt, garlic, oregano and Cajun seasoning. Cook until onions are slightly translucent and peppers are a bold green shade (the onions should be softer, but the peppers slightly crunchy).

Add sausage and any juices into the pan then add in canned tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Adjust seasonings to your liking.


Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups



I had seen the new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups posted different places online … so I decided to give it a try when I spotted them at CVS. I’m a Reese lover and was intrigued to see how this paired up against Reese’s and even the classic Butterfinger.

When I think of Butterfingers, I think of a classic chocolate coated crunchy peanut butter flavored bar. Butterfingers aren’t a huge love of mine, I like them, but typically if I’m in the mood for chocolate I go toward my favorites.  The packaging describes the cups as a smooth and crunchy treat.  The cups themselves have a classic smooth chocolate coating and the peanut butter filling is a very unique mixture of smooth and crunchy. It’s got that classic Butterfinger flavor that has small little flakes of the original Butterfinger crunch throughout the smooth peanut butter. It’s definitely a very unique and delicious mixture of the two.

If you’re expecting a Reese’s you won’t love these, but if you enjoy Butterfingers and Reese cups this is a perfect marriage of the two. It’s delicious, chocolaty, peanut buttery goodness which I would repurchase again.

A pack (2 cups) is a serving which is 230 calories or 6 points plus, or you can have 1 cup for 115 calories or 3 points plus values.

Stride Sour Patch Kids Lime Sugar Free Gum

I was super excited when I spotted and picked up the Red Berry Sour Patch Kid gum, but I was put onto a hunt when I found out there was a lime flavor available.  So that set me on a mission which I continuously came up empty handed for ... until I went to Target.  That’s when I stumbled upon a 3-pack of the Stride Sour Patch Kids Lime Sugar Free Gum in the candy aisle.

Like the Red Berry, the gum itself smells EXACTLY like Sour Patch Kids. The scent alone leaves one with their mouth watering. Popping the gum in my mouth I immediately get that sour flavoring, but as you chew it gets sweeter and tastes just like lime … and just like a sour patch kid. I truthfully think the lime tastes better than the red berry, which is surprising because with the actual candy itself the red is my favorite.

These are sold in single packages and in 3-packs.  The 3-pack of course being cost effective.  The gum is <5 calories a serving.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wendy’s Frosty Alternative

This is the end result of what I call “Facebook made me do it.”

Browsing Facebook I saw a friend posted a Frosty alternative recipe. Going over the recipe I was intrigued but decided I was going to make it with a few tweaks to make it more my “style” if you will. The original recipe had really no sweetness to it (as told by the ingredients and those who tried the recipe comments).  I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it as it was originally, so I opted to tweak it a bit. I have to say, the end result came out pretty well. It’s not an exact Wendy’s frosty replica, but it’s a healthier alternative. The only thing missing was my small fry on the side.

I didn’t go into making this expect it to be creamy and smooth. It’s got the classic frosty flavor, with a hunt of banana in the background, but texture wise it’s icier (to be expected) but nonetheless it was an enjoyable treat.

Serves 1. 1 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
  • 1 packet Equal
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15 ice cubes

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and ice is all chopped up.

Serve in your favorite glass.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chobani Flip Vanilla Golden Crunch

I have seen Chobani Flips all over the place, but had yet to give them a try. While on my “try all the new yogurt” kicks I picked up the Chobani Flip Vanilla Golden Crunch. I admit I’ve not been the biggest Chobani fan because the yogurts that I’ve purchased are typically sour, regardless of the flavor or how sweet the fruit is. Over the years I’ve moved away from Chobani, until I purchased this flip.

I opted for the Vanilla Golden Crunch because it was the “safest” of the available options at my store to give a try. Opening the flip up and mixing the crunchy topping into it the first bite was super sour. Face puckering sour. I decided to sprinkle a little bit of artificial sweetener into it and it turned out to be quite good once there was a bit of sweetness to it.  It’s undoubtedly vanilla and the crunchy flakes are reminiscent of corn flakes.  I enjoyed it and the crunch was different and made it unique. I’ll undoubtedly give some of the other flavors a try to see how the other ones play.

A container is 150 calories or 4 points plus values.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Taco Junk


Ahh, Taco Junk! I never knew how amazing this dish was until I finally gave it a try. I’ve tried trashy taco soup in the past, but that was soup and not like “taco mix”. I stumbled upon this thanks to Pinterest. There was a picture pinned of canned food items lined up alongside taco and ranch seasoning, so I clicked on it because I was curious.  And I’m glad I did.

Not only is this dish exceptionally easy to whip together, but it’s cooked in the crock pot and the end result is utterly delicious. So delicious that I’ve been asked on multiple occasions (in a week’s time frame) as to when I was going to make it again.  It’s that good; that I’m pretty sure it’s going to be on this upcoming week’s dinner menu.

The original recipe has all canned ingredients being used with your choice of either ground beef or turkey, but I switched it up just a little bit as I do with all my cooking.  I added in onion and McCormick Montreal steak seasoning, opted for frozen fire roasted corn and decided to not use the salsa that was listed in a few recipes.  The end result was a nicely thickened taco mixture, which as it sat away from heat got thicker and even more delicious. Definitely a winner for all taco lovers alike!

Serves 13. 3 Points Plus. ½ cup serving size.
Ingredients:
  • 20 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal steak seasoning (optional)
  • 14 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 ½ cups frozen fire roasted corn (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning, reduced sodium
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix

In a non-stick skillet combine onion, ground turkey and Montreal steak seasoning and cook together until browned and no longer pink.

Transfer meat and onion mixture to a crock pot. Add in taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, drained and rinsed beans, canned diced tomatoes and frozen corn.  Roughly 2 hours in give everything a gentle stir to get everything nicely incorporated.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Stir to combine all ingredients.

Serve immediately or allow to cool for 20-30 minutes to thicken up slightly.


Annie Chung’s Organic Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers

Chinese potstickers used to be one of my favorite side dishes to order from my local Chinese restaurant. These days I don’t order them any longer because I’m really the only one who likes them, and an order is just too much and possibly a little too tempting to have.

One day while shopping at Whole Foods I decided to pick up a bag of the Annie Chung’s Organic Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers because they were exceptionally low in points plus/calories and they were in a comfortable serving size for me.  After watching The Big Bang Theory re-runs back-to-back my boyfriend and I were both craving Chinese food (incase you don’t watch the show the gang tend to eat Chinese food quite often). So much for television swaying food choices, huh?  My boyfriend ended up ordering Chinese food for himself and I decided to take these potstickers out of the freezer.  I cooked them up in a non-stick pan, fried them for a couple of minutes on each side to get coloring on it, then steamed them. They came out perfectly. I asked my boyfriend to get potsticker sauce for me from the Chinese restaurant so I used tat to drizzle over my potstickers and they were absolutely perfect.

The potstickers contain no preservatives, no MSG, no trans fats and are made from organic chicken, cabbage and onions in a light wrapper. The wrapper isn’t as thick as traditional potstickers, but they’re light, flavorful and delicious.

A serving is 7 pieces which is 220 calories or 5 points plus values.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lean Cuisine Wrap Additions Buffalo-Style Chicken

I’m not a huge frozen food fan, but I do enjoy them from time to time for convenience foods or I even give them a whirl when one may look particularly tasty. While shopping one day I noticed a line of new Lean Cuisine’s and decided to pick on up.  Our of the 3 varieties available at my shopping center, I opted to go with the Lean Cuisine Wrap Additions Buffalo-Style Chicken.  It seemed to be the “safest” of the varieties even though it was to be the spiciest.

When I first spotted the meal I assumed that perhaps the wraps were inside of the box to make a complete meal. After looking over the box I realized that the components to make a wrap were included and I’d have to choose my own wrap to assemble a sandwich. The idea is good in one way but I can see how it might be confusing for others who are just grabbing to go without realizing they need tortillas on the side.  The meal itself includes a spicy buffalo-style seasoned white meat chicken, carrots, celery, tomatoes and onions alongside a spicy buffalo-style sauce, which has a slight cooling effect to it, perhaps due to a slight presence of ranch dressing?  At first I was thinking “celery and carrots steamed alongside chicken?” but it all works well together.

The inner sandwich components are rather plain jane on their own. The chicken is mildly spiced – but the flavor category without a doubt comes from the sauce. The sauce is spicy, flavorful, while it also has a bit of a creamy cooling effect – which is similar to something you’d get with a ranch dressing. Overall, it’s quite delicious and a great meal idea.

I opted to pair my wrap addition to ½ of a lavish which is 1 points plus for the half – making my whole meal only 5 points plus. Not bad!

Each package of 160 calories or 4 points plus values. Of course depending on the type of tortilla that is used that will increase the calories and points plus respectively.

Weight Watchers Marshmallow Brownie Crunch Snack Bar

Weight Watchers meeting locations came out with new mini snack bars right before the new roll out of Weight Watchers Simply Filling plan.  I’d been eyeing the snack bars but decided to wait because out of all of the Weight Watcher products the snack bars tend to be the one product that can go either hit or miss with me.  Before I was able to purchase a box (which I later did) I was given a free sample of the bar during my meeting.

The bars are the same size of all Weight Watcher mini bars (3-4 bites and its gone). They are on the sweeter side, but they’re not what I’d consider to be sickeningly sweet. It satisfies my sweet tooth and it’s perfect because I can have 1 bar instead of having an entire tray of tempting brownies sitting in my kitchen. They have a chewy brownie texture, which has a chocolate coating around it. It’s then topped with marshmallow and crunchy bits and drizzled with chocolate.  Completely decadent and worth points plus!

Each bar is 2 points plus values and are available for sale at Weight Watchers meeting locations.

Sargento Ultra Thin Pepper Jack Cheese

Popping into Target with my friend this past weekend, we were walking past the cheese casing to head up to the front of the store when I spotted the Sargento Ultra Thin Pepper Jack Cheese. I am a HUGE lover of pepper jack because it’s undoubtedly my favorite type of cheese. Unfortunately it’s a bit difficult to find and my local grocery store doesn’t sell the Land O Lakes version at the deli, so I was excited to pick this up.

The cheese is sliced very thinly as the package explains, which is exactly how I enjoy my cheese sliced.  The thing I like is there are pieces of parchment paper between each slice which make for easy removing of each slice and keeps slices from sticking to one another. The cheese itself is real cheese, it’s flavorful and it packs that little spicy punch which I enjoy. I’ve been enjoying this with burgers, deli meat and even on top of tuna salad.

A serving is 3 slices for 120 calories or 3 points plus, or you can have 1 slice for 40 calories or 1 points plus.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Extra Dessert Delights Peach Cobbler Sugar Free Gum



Finding new and unique flavored gum is truthfully like hitting the lottery. I love having gum on hand because they’re flavorful, they satisfy any oral fixation and they keep me busy chewing gum instead of snacking away on other items if I’m feeling snacky.  While standing in the checkout in Walgreen’s I noticed there was a new gum available, so I picked up the Extra Dessert Delights Peach Cobbler Sugar Free Gum.

I’m a fan of the Extra Dessert Delights because the gum truly does taste like a dessert. I like that it can give me the flavor of a dessert in a non-guilty form. The gum taste like peach cobbler – not necessarily the crust, but it tastes like the peach filling with a very mild, mild cinnamon flavor in the background. It smells like a peach market, which makes your mouth water a bit before even popping a stick of gum in your mouth.

Without a doubt a great addition to the Extra Dessert Delights line!

Taco Salad


I find myself on “Taco Tuesday’s” reaching for my salad bowl instead of the taco shells. If I’m in the mood for the crunch, I will incorporate something crunchy (a broken up taco shell or tortilla chips) into my salad. This way I’m one in the crowd and I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything.  Other times I simply skip the tortillas and make a “normal” taco salad.

This is one of those bang for your buck type of meals. It’s filled with greens, lean meat and flavorful components (taco seasoning and salsa). For those folks on Weight Watchers you can see there are many power foods in this dish. It’s satisfying, it’s filling and it’s incredibly low in points.

Pictured, I have tossed salad (romaine, baby tomatoes, cucumber and red onion), 3 oz of lean ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Queso Dip, 1 oz of Trader Joe’s Organic Tortilla Chips, Chi-Chi’s medium salsa and a few jalapenos to balance it all out.  All of this for 6 points plus values!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dannon Light & Fit Greek Blends Caramel Macchiato

I’ve been taking a walk on the wild side with my new yogurt selections. I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty proud of myself (haha). I tend to try out new yogurts frequently, but I’m hesitant with chocolate or “foreign” yogurt flavors (like some pie or cake flavored yogurts).  So when shopping at Target, I spotted and picked up the Dannon Light & Fit Greek Blends Caramel Macchiato.

Initially I was like “ohhh how is this going to be?” because I’ll be honest, I am a coffee lover but I have yet to introduce coffee into my yogurt. Now, I have had coffee alongside yogurt, but the two have never been married together.  Opening and stirring it up, I took my first bite and I wasn’t appalled. Flavor wise it is undoubtedly caramel macchiato. It tastes like a caramel ice coffee … in yogurt form. It doesn’t have that sour yogurt aftertaste that some dessert flavored (i.e. chocolate yogurts) can bring to the table. It really reminds me of coffee ice cream … which makes me feel this would be fabulous blended up into a smoothie.

Each cup is 80 calories or 2 points plus values.

Slow Cooker Sweet & Tangy Chicken Dinner



I was looking for something different to make for dinner, but I wanted something I could throw together in the crock pot because I had a busy day on my hands. After not being too impressed with the ideas I came up with I decided to check out Emily Bites blog. I know a lot of folks enjoy her recipes and I’ve looked but haven’t truly tried many of her dishes.

Looking over the dishes I opted to try out the Slow Cooker Sweet & Tangy Chicken (see recipe here) because I had all the ingredients on hand.

Like typical crock pot meals it was super simple to throw together.  Then before I knew it, the main dinner dish was ready. As the directions state, I removed the chicken from the sauce, transferred the sauce to a pot and thickened the sauce up on the stove. My sauce thickened up, perhaps a little too much – but nonetheless it was a great addition to place over the cooked shredded chicken.

I served this over white rice and paired it with fresh steamed green beans and some canned carrots.  Definitely a delicious diner!

A ½ cup serving of chicken with sauce is 209 calories or 5 points plus values.

The entire meal as pictured is 10 points plus values.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This is what I call “Facebook made me do it” – meaning one of those recipes that bounce around on Facebook was posted on my Facebook timeline. After walking thru the kitchen I noticed I had some slightly ripened bananas soooo it was a perfect opportunity to whip up a quick batch of cookies.

The recipe is interesting because it includes no sugar, no dairy and no oil.  I admit, when I recreated the recipe I used skim milk in place of the almond milk since I did not have a container in the refrigerator at the time.

I made 18 pretty decent sized cookies and they were 2 points plus a piece. Not bad at all! These were also a hit … they tasted reminiscent of banana bread (of course, different texture, etc.)

Here’s the recipe I followed:

3 mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup apple sauce (I used natural unsweetened)
2 cups oats
¼ cup almond milk (I substituted with skim milk)
½ cup raisins (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Starbucks Caramel Flan Frappucino Light Blended




Those of us folks who are coffee fans have been hearing and seeing the new Caramel Flan beverage line (available in both latte and frappucino) advertised.  I’d been looking into the drink online and was interested in perhaps giving it a try one day.  That “one day” came a lot sooner when I received a complimentary drink e-mail from Starbucks for a tall Caramel Flan drink for 1-day only.

Since I am a Weight Watchers member I hopped on the Starbucks website and looked up the different versions of the drink and was very pleased to find this drink is sold in light variety – which is different from their nonfat no whip version.  According to Starbucks website the drink is described as follows: “Caramel Flan Frappuccino® Light Blended Beverage is a creamy-cool indulgence. Along with our own caramel flan flavored syrup, we add a drizzle of caramel flan sauce.

I was sold.

While running an errand I popped into my local Starbucks and picked up my drink. I found this to be quite delicious. It’s undoubtedly caramel but there is that flan flavor lingering in the background.  It wasn’t overly sweet, actually perfectly sweetened, and was a great treat for the coffee and frappucino lover in me.

A tall is 110 calories and only 3 points plus values.

Special K Moments Indulgent Snack Bites – Dreamy Coconut

I enjoy a small sweet snack every once in a while. So, while meandering through the oatmeal and cereal bar aisle, I spotted an item that was new to me. So I picked up the Special K Moments Indulgent Snack Bites in Dreamy Coconut.  I opted to go with the coconut over the caramel pretzel because coconut desserts are definitely a favorite even though dark chocolate is not.

Opening the bar they certainly look indulgent and decadent. They have a macaroon type look to them. Taste wise they’re good … but they’re not mind blowing fabulous. They have a rice krispie texture to them and the coconut flavor is undoubtedly noticeable. The dark chocolate certainly brings down the natural sweetness of it.  It’s a good treat if you’re looking for something small that can satisfy your sweet tooth.

I purchased the box knowing well in advance they were small.  I believe the box even lists the picture on the packaging to be true to size.  Plus, with a description as “snack bites” I was anticipating it to be a few bites.  Turns out the Special K website even describes them as a “just 3 bites and 70 calories”.  If you’re anticipating a larger bar, then you may want to skip these.  If you’re a Weight Watchers meeting member, I’d compare these in size to the snack bars that are sold in meeting locations.

Each bar is 70 calories and 2 points plus values.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dinner: Bangers and Mashed

Having full fat sausage is a treat because I usually eat chicken or turkey sausage just because pork sausage is heavy and can make me have a bit of a stomach ache.  The only exception to that rule is when having English sausage – Bangers.  I have an English market in town where bangers are made in house and are authentic to the bangers sold and served in England.

Last time I picked up some bangers, I opted for the thinner cased pork sausage. They’re also sold in the classic large banger form, but I find these are easier to cook and they can go further because you get more sausages in a pound package than you do with the regular sized sausages.

Growing up we always had bangers with macaroni and cheese – but since my boyfriend is not a fan of mac & cheese I opted to make garlic mashed potatoes to pair with peas. Considering this is the first time I’ve had bangers with mashed I was quite pleased with the dish. Delicious, simple and overall tasty.

The whole meal was 12 points plus. Definitely worth it!