Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fabulous Find: Weight Watchers Cafe Creations

Anyone who knows me knows I basically run on coffee (Hi Dunkin'!).  I drink really kind of an obnoxious amount.

That said, the switch to Smartpoints was not necessarily a favorable one for my coffee habit.  I can't even talk about my beloved Skinny Caramel Macchiato.

While I do online now, I initially signed up to go to meetings, and when I first got to the center, I saw this.

At zero Smartpoints, I knew I had to give this a try!  It's available in Vanilla Bean and Mucho Mocha.

My first impression?  SWEET.  Really sweet.  Like too sweet for a normal mug of coffee, at least for me.

However, I rarely drink small cups of coffee!  I found that putting one of these packets in a large coffee was really quite delicious.  Cut the sweetness, and gave just enough flavor and creaminess.

And like I said, I can't really argue with zero Smartpoints.

You can get them at centers, but I've also found them online.

Definitely give them a try if you are a coffee lover!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fantastic Friday Four

A glimpse of what is making me smile this week!

This is Charlie.  This is my iRobot.  Charlie is not a fan.  He's on guard.

I saw this on Facebook and it's basically everything I've ever wanted.  I need to test this out obviously.

I found these on my trip to Burlington, Vermont and let me tell you, I don't know why I didn't think of it.  Genius.  And yes, I bought some!

Thanks to a gift card from Mom and Dad, I downloaded Inspiralized on my iPad.  Cannot WAIT to try out some of these recipes!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Crockpot Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Crockpots are literally the best kitchen tool ever.

Well, next to the avocado slicer.

I mean what is easier than throwing everything in a pot and plugging it in?  Plus, your home smells amazing for hours.

This soup is super hearty and delicious and healthy.  I don't like to repeat meals so soon after each other but this one?  I'm on my second week.  It's THAT good.

I adapted this from my latest cookbook of the week - Crockpot Family Favorites.  To make it healthier and a bit more point friendly, and more to my liking, I made several changes, including upping the veggies significantly, using lean turkey sausages, and using tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes (totally a consistency thing for me).

The great thing about this soup is that it is totally customizable - whatever veggies you like or have on hand, throw them in!  You can also try different kinds of tortellini.  When I made this a second time, I used spinach and cheese tortellini and it was fabulous!

Crockpot Sausage and Tortellini Soup
6 servings (about 2 1/4 cups per serving) at 6 Smartpoints each

3 lean hot Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
3 lean sweet Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
6 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 29oz can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 package (9 oz) refrigerated tortellini
3 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
2 1/2 cups spinach and kale mix

Cook sausages in a large skillet until cooked through.  Add cooked sausages, broth, tomato sauce, carrots, Italian seasoning, and pepper to Crockpot.  Cook on high for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, add broccoli and zucchini and cook for another hour.  Then, add in tortellini and spinach / kale mixture.  Cook for another 30-45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Blog Bites: Skinnytaste Ham, Veggie, and Egg Bake

I am a super big fan of all things Skinnytaste.  Her recipes are delicious and healthy and also really easy!

I whipped up this Veggie, Ham, Egg and Cheese bake and found it to be a GREAT midmorning nosh.  It's basically customizable to whatever veggies you have on hand, and I actually subbed Canadian bacon for the ham steak.  Really delicious!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fabulous Finds: Chobani Simply 100 Crunch

I LOVE the Chobani Flips.  Particularly the Key Lime Crumble.

However - LOTS of sugar.  And to top it off, on the new Smartpoints plan, not terribly point friendly.

Then I stumbled upon these beauties in the store.

(Ignore the rest of the lunchbox, for the life of me I couldn't find the original picture!)

So these are basically 100 calorie pack "flips" from Chobani.  I found three flavors -  one was a chocolate and strawberry combo, one was blueberry cookie, and one was mango.  I'm not a huge mango fan (unless it's in a daquiri) so I tried the strawberry and blueberry ones.

The strawberry "Crunch" was strawberry Greek yogurt with chocolate pieces, chocolate cookie pieces, and dried strawberry.  The blueberry - my favorite - was a blueberry Greek yogurt with oatmeal cookie pieces and dried blueberries.

These were a perfect mid-morning snack paired with some fruit, but would also be a great sweet treat at the end of the day.

And the best - 3 Smartpoints per serving!

Hoping they expand this line!  Keep an eye out!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cheesy Baked Polenta with Mixed Herbs

I used to eat polenta all the time.  And then, I sort of forgot about it.

Seeing this recipe in my cookbook of the week, Sheet Pan Suppers, reminded me that I really need to get back into polenta.

This recipe is super easy and a delicious side dish.  The polenta gets nice and crispy on the outside, but super creamy on the inside.  The parmesan cheese adds a nice, salty kick.

I made 1 or 2 small modifications, so if you are following Weight Watchers - only 5 smartpoints per serving, which is 4 slices!

I had it for dinner with some zoodles and avocado and a fried egg.  It was absolutely filling and delicious!

Cheesy Baked Polenta with Mixed Herbs
Serves 4
5 Smartpoints per serving

Olive oil cooking spray
1 tube precooked polenta, cut into 16 slices
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground cracked black pepper
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 mixed fresh thyme and chives (or herbs of choice!)

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a sheet with the olive oil spray.  Space out the polenta rounds evenly on the pan.  With a brush, brush each slice with olive oil.  Sprinkle with the salt and apper.

Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the polenta about halfway through.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese and herbs.  Return to oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

(I stored the leftovers in the fridge, and just reheated in the oven - they were great!)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fantastic Friday Four - February 5th, 2016

Happy Friday!

Here is what is making me smile this week (other than the fact that it's FRIDAY!!!)

I moved into my new apartment in July and have slowly been adding decor.  The walls in my bedroom are a really dark gray, so I've been adding white accents.  LOVE this one from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Also, it's a nice saying to wake up to on those tougher mornings.

In case it isn't obvious I have a serious coffee obsession.  And YAY Dunkin' Donuts have their travel mugs back with the $1.69 refill (and it's like an extra large mug) until April 30!

I can't really be allowed in Bath and Body Works without supervision because I have a serious candle addiction.  I have always loved these plug-ins too, but never really had a good outlet for them in my old apartment.  This apartment has a bigger bathroom and a perfect place for it!  I'm, of course, seasonal, so it's a snowflake (pumpkin is for fall, naturally).  The scent I have in now is brown sugar allspice and it makes me crave oatmeal everytime I walk in there.

Always been a big fan of PB2, and for the first time recently, I tried the chocolate.  OMG.  Seriously, though.   It is by far my new favorite - great to add to smoothies!  And only 1 Smartpoint for 2 TBSP.

What's making you smile this week?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Love List: Love with Food Box

I'm a big fan of the subscription box.  I've used Ipsy, BeautyBox, Birchbox, and Nature Box - all of which I have enjoyed.  But of course, financially, having all those boxes can get a bit expensive.

One I'm currently enjoying is Love with Food.  It sends boxes of healthy, non GMO snacks to your door once a month.  Now, I'm a snacker, and I usually try and keep it to fruits and veggies, but every once in a while, you have to change it up.

This was the one I got this month.  This particular one is the Tasting Box, and it's $7.99 a month.  In it, you get at least 8 snacks to try.

Now, a word of warning, if you have a nut allergy, you might not be interested, as you can't delineate that ahead of time.  I don't, though I don't particularly like nuts, so I just give those snacks away.

This box, for example, had some granola cookies, some bruschetta for dipping, some organic corn chips, a turkey stick, a bag of organic cherry hard candies, and a few little sweet treats - one was a square of chocolate with crushed corn flakes in it!

These snacks, if you like them, are then also available to buy in their store.

What I like is that you get a nice mix of salty and sweet, and it's brands that I won't necessarily find in the store but can easily find online if I like them.

And the best part is, for every box you buy, they donate a meal to a food bank in America.

Good snacks and good deeds?  Sold!

If you are interested in giving this a shot, this is a referral link (once you sign up, you can earn points by referring others!).

Love with Food