Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lettuce Tacos

A few weeks ago I went to PF Chang's with my brother and his wife. When we were there we had some delicious lettuce wraps. On the way home I thought, "I could make tacos the same way." Tonight was the night I did.

ground turkey
taco seasoning
green onions
reduced fat cheddar cheese
lettuce (I used green leaf)

  1. Brown ground meat. Add sliced green onions. Cook until onions are semi-soft.
  2. Follow directions on taco seasoning.
  3. Wash lettuce leaf and pat dry.
  4. Top with meat mixture, cheese, and any other taco toppings you like.
  5. Wrap lettuce around inside ingredients before eating.

Rating: pretty good, just have to get your brain around the fact that there's no shell
Warming Up: just warm up the meat like you would a normal taco...should warm up fine.
  • I feel that this recipe has a lot going for it:
    • It's healthier than the normal alternative, and if you don't like it the first night you still have everything you need for a nice taco salad.
    • The lettuce leaves seem to fit less meat and filling than a taco shell (well, I suppose that depends on the lettuce you use), so there's more calories saved.
    • Lettuce tacos are a little messier than normal ones, so maybe you'll eat less because you won't want to get too messy.
    • Also, since you're saving some fat, calories, carbs, etc., there's room for dessert. :)
  • Next time I'll probably pair it with Apple Straws - one of my new favorite snacks. (I feel a future blog entry coming on...)
WW PointsPlus*: the only points here are the cheese and meat mixture so it depends on how you make it and what additional toppings you use.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Potato Chowder

One of my favorite soup recipes. Easy to make and delicious - a winter time stand-by.

Recipe From: my Weight Watchers leader, Kathy

2 bags Ore-Ida Hashbrown Potatoes (cubed, southern style) - 8 cups total
3 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 can reduced fat cream soup
8 oz fat free cream cheese
1 can corn (optional)
onion to taste
seasoning to taste

Open, pour, simmer (about 2 hours), stirring occasionally.

Rating: tasty
Warming Up: never have a problem warming this up for lunch
  • I use cream of celery soup, the recipe call for cream of chicken. I also use green onions.
  • This soup looks interesting as it cooks, but trust me...the potatoes break down and everything comes together to make a great, thick chowder.
  • This makes a lot of chowder, so I typically make a half batch. Making a full batch is fine too, this chowder freezes well.
  • Even more delicious when served with a little reduced fat cheddar cheese on top. I also think you could easily turn this in to a "stuffed baked potato soup" by adding bacon bits, broccoli, etc.
WW Points*: 3 points per cup

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Game Day

Today's a pretty big day across the country,
and especially here in Wisconsin
- Super Bowl Sunday
complete with our Green Bay Packers!

I'm sure there are countless Super Bowl parties that will be taking place later today, so I thought I'd post some of my favorite standby recipes for a party. Most parties will include finger foods that are easy to eat while watching the game, cheering, and talking with friends. Maybe some will have mini-kabobs (that I've made a couple times myself - with or without meat), or different types of tart cups (another delicious recipe I've tried). I'm also sure there will be plenty of bowls of salsa and chips, countless numbers of chicken wings, and numerous veggie trays (that I hope don't get neglected) eaten today.

Meeting Donald Lee & Allen Barbre
Above I noted two recipes I made at different parties, and the next five posts are additional recipes that would be great for Super Bowl Sunday or any party that you're planning. There are a couple for finger foods, a couple desserts, and there's even a beverage one. Most are not the most healthy items, but we all need a day to indulge.

Go Pack Go!

Cheese Dip / Spread

Recipe From: my friend Mandy

8oz cream cheese
8oz yellow cheese spread (cheddar)
8oz cheese whiz
1/4 tsp garlic powder 

Combine all ingredients. Whip until fluffy.

Rating: good stuff!
  • Mandy serves this with pretzels. I do that too, but have also found it to be quite tasty on beer bread.
  • Since most of the ingredients come in 16oz containers, this is an easily doubled recipe. If you don't need that much for your party, it also freezes.

Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

Recipe From: a magazine that I can't remember the title of - sorry!

8oz whipped cream cheese (soft)
1 cup (8oz) feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup green onions
1 pkg (6oz) craisins
4 tortillas 

  1. Combine cheeses and onion.
  2. Stir in craisins.
  3. Spread 1/2 cup on each tortilla and roll up.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for an hour.
  5. Cut in to slices and serve.
Rating: yummy!

  • Using reduced fat cream cheese and wheat tortillas help this recipe have lower fat.
  • I have also added deli sliced turkey on top of the cheese spread before making the rolls.

Oreo Balls

When I first had these, my friend and I were trying to figure out what they were made of, I thought they were brownies because they are so moist.

Recipe From: my friend Molly's aunt-in-law

1 pkg Oreo cookies
1 8oz cream cheese
White chocolate, or white chocolate chips

  1. Grind Oreo cookies in blender or food processor, a few at a time.
  2. Pour into bowl and add softened cream cheese. Mix well (using your hands is the best method).
  3. Form into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Refridgerate about an hour.
  4. Melt white chocolate.
  5. Dip each ball into melted chocolate, place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet until coating as hardened.
Rating: really good!
This recipe has become one that my family requests for our gatherings.
Try this once and you may get hooked too.
  • I commonly make this with reduced fat Oreos and reduced fat cream cheese - no one can tell the difference and it's slightly healthier.
  • Shake colored sugar sprinkles on the balls while the chocolate is still soft for a customized party addition. I have done red and blue for the Fourth of July or red and green for Christmas - you could even make them the colors of your favorite team.
  • This recipe is easily doubled, etc. to make enough for your party.

Cool & Creamy Chocolate Fondue

Recipe From: my friend Mandy, it's a Pampered Chef recipe.

Rating: yummy!
  • Enjoy with any kind of fruit, graham crackers are tasty with it too!
  • Use low fat or fat free whipped cream to make this a little healthier.
WW PointsPlus*: According to nutritional information on the recipe, 2 Tbsp = 2.

Banana Slush Punch

I originally had this recipe at a school dinner. My students made it for the annual parent dinner, it's delicious, but needs to be made ahead of time - you can't just throw this one together.

Recipe From: There are lots of variations out there, but this one seems to be the one I know. 

Rating: tasty, hard to stop drinking it

  • As the recipe says, this can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Could probably be easily tweaked to include the "adult" portion of a slush drink.