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Watermelon Feta Salad

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Yummy summer salad that is delicious! I was skeptical because I am usually not a fan of feta. Then there was the whole watermelon and onions thing. I was sooooo glad I tried it, though!

  •   2 pound(s) fresh watermelon, cubed   
  •   8 oz grape tomatoes, halved   
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar   
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt   
  •   3 cup(s) arugula   
  •   1/2 medium uncooked red onion(s), thinly sliced   
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil   
  • 3 oz feta cheese   

Instructions

  • Cut feta into small bite-size pieces. Whisk oil, vinegar, and salt to blend; set aside. Place arugula, onions, and tomatoes in salad bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Add cheese and melon; serve.

Serves 4.

6 WW PP+

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Kale and Blueberry Salad

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I found this recipe on Southern Living’s website. I ran it through the WW calculator and found the original to be a little much in points for my tastes. I changed the sour cream to light sour cream and adjusted the servings from 6 to 8.

  • 6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar   
  •   1/4 small uncooked onion(s), grated   
  • 1/4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce   
  • 1/8 Tbsp hot sauce   
  • 1 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced   
  •   1/2 medium Granny Smith apple, grated   
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat buttermilk   
  • 6 Tbsp mayonnaise   
  • 6 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream   
  • 3 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped   
  • 1 tsp kosher salt   
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper   
  • 1/2 tsp sugar   
  •   3/4 cup(s) (sliced) fresh radish(es), thinly sliced   
  •   4 medium uncooked carrot(s), cut into strips   
  •   3 cup(s) uncooked kale, thinly sliced   
  •   1 head(s) (large) uncooked red cabbage, shredded   
  •   1 cup(s) fresh blueberries   
  •   1 cup(s) raspberries   

Stir together first 6 ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid; let stand 5 minutes. Add buttermilk and next 3 ingredients. Cover jar with lid; shake vigorously until blended and smooth. Add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Toss together radishes, next 5 ingredients, and 1/2 cup dressing in a large bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with remaining dressing.

Serves 8. 5 WW PP

Vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

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I had something like this recently and it was heavenly. I found this recipe on SimplyRecipes and hope it meets my expectations. I have adjusted it a little to make it Weight Watcher’s friendly. This is 10 servings and 11 WW points. That seems like a lot of points but this can be a full meal in itself rather than separate components. I wouldn’t eat additional bread. If you want to eat a salad with it, that would make it more filling and get you more veggies.

  • 1 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 generous cup of chopped onions
  • 1/8 cup olive oil plus more for keeping the noodles from sticking to each other
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I recommend Muir Glen brand with added basil)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed in clean towel of excess moisture
  • 1 lb whole wheat lasagna noodles (16 to 20 noodles)
  • 1 15-ounce container of part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 pound Parmesan, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 12 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
Place mushrooms in a large (6 to 8 quart), sauté pan on high or medium high heat. Stir them with a wooden spoon or shake the pan from time to time. You may hear them squeak. Sprinkle salt over the mushrooms. The mushrooms will sizzle and then start to release water. (Note that you are not adding fat at this point to the pan; this method of cooking mushrooms in their own moisture is called “dry sautéing.) Once the mushrooms start to release water into the pan, stir in the chopped onions. Cook until the mushrooms are no longer releasing moisture and the mushroom water has boiled away, about 5 minutes more.

Add the olive oil to the mushrooms and stir to coat. Sauté the mushrooms and onions for about a minute.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for a minute longer. Reserve 1 cup of the tomato sauce (it will go in the bottom of the casserole dish), and put the remaining cup of tomato sauce into the pot with the mushrooms.  Add the large can of crushed tomatoes.  Add one cup of water. Stir in the thyme, sugar, and red pepper flakes. If you are using dried basil instead of fresh, add it now.  Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer on a low simmer, for 20 minutes.

Once sauce is simmering, salt the boiling pasta water, and add the dry lasagna noodles to the boiling water.  (The water should be at a vigorous, rolling boil.) Stir gently, making sure that the noodles are not sticking to each other. Set the timer for 8 minutes, or however long is indicated on the package of the noodles. Cook uncovered on a high boil. When the noodles are ready (al dente, cooked through but still firm to the bite), drain the noodles in a colander, and rinse them to cool them with cold water.  As you rinse them, gently separate them with your fingers so they don’t stick to each other. Prepare a couple large cookie sheets or baking sheets by spreading a tablespoon of olive oil over the baking sheets. Place the lasagna noodles on the sheets, gently coating them with a bit of that olive oil, and spreading them out. This will help keep them from sticking to each other while you finish the sauce and prepare the layered casserole.

Turn off the heat on the stovetop for the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the one cup of reserved tomato sauce over the bottom of a large (preferably 10×15-inch) casserole dish. (If your casserole dish is smaller, you may need to add another layer as you go through this step.) Place a layer of lasagna noodles down over the tomato sauce, slightly overlapping. (For our 10×15-inch dish, we ultimately fit 3 layers of noodles, each layer with 6 noodles.  Then we had 2 extra noodles on which to nosh.) Sprinkle half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles. Sprinkle half of the defrosted, drained, and excess moisture squeezed out spinach over the ricotta.  Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella cheese over the spinach, and just a quarter of the pecorino cheese. Then spoon 1/3 of your mushroom sauce over the Mozzarella. Sprinkle half of the fresh basil over the sauce if using.

Repeat the layering process. Place a second layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining ricotta, spinach, and Mozzarella over the noodles. Sprinkle another quarter of the pecorino along with the Mozzarella. Top with another third of the mushroom sauce and the remaining fresh basil.  Layer your final layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining sauce over the lasagna noodles, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino or parmesan cheese.

Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the casserole dish. Spread a little olive oil over the inside of the piece of foil (the side that will have contact with the lasagna). Place the foil over the casserole dish and crimp the edges.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 25 minutes.

Take the lasagna out of the oven when done and let it rest 10 minutes before cutting to serve. Once made, the lasagna will last a week in the fridge.

Crockpot Grits

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Being Southern, I love grits! There are lots of ways to do them, but here is an easy way to get that tasty, creamy goodness.

6 cups water
2 cups grits
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Stir together grits and 6 cups water in a 5 or 6-qt. slow cooker. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes, allowing grits to settle to bottom. Tilt slow cooker slightly, and skim off solids using a fine wire-mesh strainer. Cover and soak 8 hours or overnight.

2. Cover and cook grits on HIGH 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Stir in cream and remaining ingredients. Serve with desired toppings. (Don’t forget toppings are more calories!)

Serves 8.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 209 Calories; 8g Fat (32.6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 22mg Cholesterol; 452mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat.

Veggie & Rice Burritos

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I have a very similar burrito recipe on here. This one is close but is a little more substantial by adding rice.

4 each tortillas, whole wheat 96% fat free flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 each red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can green chili peppers, chopped
1/2 cup cooked rice
4 ounces neufchatel cheese (light cream cheese)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons salsa

1. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven heated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.

2. Heat oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place onion, bell pepper, garlic and chiles in skillet, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour beans into skillet, cook 3 minutes stirring.

3. Mix in cooked rice. Warm rice through.

4. Cut cream cheese into cubes and add to skillet with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.

5. Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla and roll tortillas up. Top with salsa. Serve immediately.

4 servings.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 386 Calories; 14g Fat (31.4% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; 22mg Cholesterol; 858mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Easy Red Beans & Rice

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1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups dried red beans
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups boiling water

1. Add everything to the crockpot and stir together.

2. Cook on low for around 6-8 hours. Cooking times may vary slightly depending on your crockpot.

Serves 6

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 350 Calories; 2g Fat (4.5% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 68g Carbohydrate; 18g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 552mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 4 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Crock Pot White Bean Soup

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As it gets cooler, I start thinking soup! This sounds delicious and filling. I found this at Budget Bytes and all credit is due to them. I put the recipe through MasterCook to check the calorie count and it is a great number.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 pound carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 pound white beans, dry
1 each bay leaf
1 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pepper, to taste
6 cups water

1. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, and carrots to a large (5qt or larger) slow cooker.

2. Sort through the beans and remove any debris or stones. Give them a quick rinse and then add them to the slow cooker, along with the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, paprika, and some freshly cracked pepper.

3. Add SIX CUPS of water to the slow cooker and stir to combine the ingredients. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

4. After 8 hours, stir the soup and mash the beans slightly. Starting with just a ½ tsp, add salt to your liking.

Serves 6.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 322 Calories; 5g Fat (14.4% calories from fat); 19g Protein; 53g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 588mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 Fat.