Lasagna Lovin'

I was having a pasta craving and had some left over ground turkey so I searched the Weight Watchers website for a good pasta recipe and stumbled upon the Chicken and Spinach Lasagna. I decided to sub ground turkey for ground chicken and halved the original recipe but it turned out great. I even got my husband to eat spinach! That's a first.


Turkey and Spinach Lasagna
  • 3/4 cup Kraft Low-Moisture, Part-Skim Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, or similar product, divided
  • 1 items egg white(s), lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 sprays cooking spray
  • 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 26 oz Contadina Marinara Sauce, or other low-fat marinara sauce
  • 1/2 pound Jennie-O Turkey Store Extra lean ground breast
  • 6 items dry lasagna noodles
  • 1/3 cup onion(s), chopped
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large, deep lasagna pan with cooking spray. Measure 2 cups of marinara sauce; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until almost tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken; cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add remaining marinara sauce to skillet and stir until well combined; set aside.
Mix together ricotta cheese, egg whites, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a large bowl until well combined.

To assemble lasagna, place 2 cups of reserved marinara sauce on bottom of dish. Layer with 3 noodles, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of spinach, 1/3 of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of chicken-sauce mixture; repeat layers again ending with chicken-sauce mixture. (Make sure to spread ingredients to edge of noodles.)

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly, about 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces.

6 WW points

Curry Chops

I am trying to plan out my meals better for the week so I came across a few meals on that I wanted to try. This is one of them. It's a bit too spicy for me and Joseph but it was pretty tasty. The bones on the chops made them stay juicier and they weren't dried out (I have a problem with dried out chops)...

Source: Weight Watchers

Curry-Rubbed Pork Chops
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 Bone-In Pork Chops
Mix all spices together and press on both sides of pork chops. Put chops on a plate and cover in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Preheat pan on medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Cook chops for three minutes on each side and than place in a dish and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until done.

4 WW points

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

With my Weight Watchers quest I have stumbled upon many a new recipe. Here's my first attempt at a low point meal. I saw a recipe on the Food Network for pork and decided to use the same glaze on chicken. It turned out pretty good but Joseph wished that the flavor went all the way into the chicken breast. I might butterfly the breast and schmear the middle with the glaze before baking it.

Source: My head and help from Robin Miller

Sweet & Spicy Chicken
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 chicken breast, skinless
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix molasses, soy sauce, mustard and garlic powder. Coat chicken once before baking and once while baking. Bake for about thirty minutes or until done.

5 WW points

I served the chicken with sweet potato fries.

  • 1 sweet potato
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Cut sweet potato into 1" wedges. Drizzle olive oil over wedges and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until a bit crispy on the outside.

1 WW point

Turkey Time!

With the very little leftover turkey we have I decided to make a WW friendly meal. I decided to join Weight Watchers after some friendly prodding from my best friend. She "needed" a partner to join her in her weight loss over the next two months before she moves overseas. I am so excited. And this meal was exactly what I needed to get me on track. So good and filling!

Source: Weight Watchers (modified)

Potato and Turkey Saute
  • 3 potato(es), red, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 carrot sliced into chunks (coins)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • cooked turkey, shredded into long strips (left over from t-day)
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into large pieces (like what you'd use for kabobs)
  • 2 tsp rosemary, chopped
Roast potatoes, onions and carrots with 1/4 teaspoons of garlic salt and rosemary and drizzled with 2 tsp EVOO until just tender, about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add potatoes, onions and carrots to skillet. Add turkey and cook, stirring gently, until browned and very tender.

6 WW pts

Sorry... didn't get a picture of this one. I was too hungry :)

Sweet Pork

After reading about this dish for quite some time on I knew I needed to make it. Simple and easy! Joseph thought that it was a bit too done so I think I might cook it for about an hour and put it in a pan with the BBQ sauce to give it more, as Joseph says, "texture".

*** updated on 8/3/11 with additional ingredients/instructions and a new picture ***

Searing the pork before placing it in the slow cooker not only locked in the moisture but also created a wonderful texture to the meat after it was done cooking. By cooking the meat on low for only 5 hours instead of 7 it was not as dried out as the first time we tried this recipe. Now this is on our regular monthly rotation and serves as a great dinner for the summer months when we don't want to touch the oven :)

Source: Our Sweet Life blog

Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs pork roast
  • 1 12 oz can of your favorite root beer
  • 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
 Preheat a large pan on medium low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper the pork. Sear pork in a pan on all sides (about 5 minutes each side).

Put pork roast in slow cooker and add can of root beer on top. Cook on low for 5-7 hours. Shred pork and add in BBQ sauce. Mix and serve on buns. Enjoy!

How simple is that?

Yeasty Yum

After reading a post from flymansWife I was inspired to make some soft pretzels. I also plan on making a few other things from her blog but started with these today. DH is watching football all day and I thought this would make a great snack. They were actually pretty easy and allowed me to do laundry and pick up the house between the rising and baking. Enjoy!

Source: flymansWife

Soft Pretzels
  • 1 c warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 package (or 2 1/4 tsp) dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 c flour
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 c water
  • 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt (I used sea salt)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes to bloom. Add the water/yeast along with the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and 2 3/4 cups of the flour to your heavy-duty mixer and knead dough for about 8 minutes, adding the last 1/4 cup of flour if necessary. You can also do this by hand. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but very uniform and smooth. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, and let rise for 1 hour, until doubled.

Punch down, and divide the dough into 18 equal shapes and form them into small balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes. Roll them into 10-12″ lengths. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the pretzels to rise for 1/2 hour. Pull lengths longer to approximately 18″ & shape into pretzel shape. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

In a medium pot, bring the baking soda and water to a boil. Add the pretzels one at a time to the boiling water for 1 minute. Press down into the boiling water with a spatula. Remove and place on a cooling rack. When cooled, transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle generously with kosher salt and bake for 10-12 minutes, until dark brown.

Candace’s Note: To ensure the dough is thoroughly kneaded, take a small piece and roll it into a ball. With your thumbs, stretch the dough until either it tears or becomes transparent in the center, also known as a window. If you cannot stretch the dough to form a window, knead a little longer.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

I was at the market at the beginning of the week thinking about what I could make for dinner Monday night. Nothing came to mind until I stopped by the seafood window. They had some tilapia on sale. I've never made tilapia and was surprised because it's sooo cheap. I just fried them up and served them with white rice. Next time I think I'll use them for fish tacos.

Source: My head :)

Fried Tilapia Fillets
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper

Put oil in pan (I used olive oil) and set to medium heat. Take egg and place in a shallow baking dish (like a pie pan). Scramble the egg a bit to break up the yolk and mix in salt and pepper to taste. Put the breadcrumbs in another baking dish. Take tilapia fillet and coat with eggs than transfer to breadcrumbs and coat. Place in pan and fry on each side for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with white rice.

Baking up a Storm

I finally had a chance to make my first blondie as inspired by bakingblonde. Joseph wanted some dessert after our carbed-out dinner so I thought... hmm, more carbs! I used the basic recipe and added in some chocolate chips. YUM! Can't wait to try it out with other add-ins.

Source: bakingblonde

Basic Blondies
  • 7 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chip cookies

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 mintues. Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (like chocolate chips).

Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool on rack before cutting.

6 WW points

Easy Dinner...

When making the pie I had my inspiration for dinner. On the back of the evaporated milk label there was a recipe for Spicy Jack and Cheddar Mac with Broccoli so I made it but with what I had on hand. It was a good mac & cheese recipe. One I might use every once in a while.

Cheddar and Mozzarella Mac & Broccoli
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups chopped frozen or fresh broccoli
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella (the recipe uses Jack)
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter 2 1/2-quart casserole dish.

Cook macaroni in large saucepan according to package directions, adding broccoli to boiling pasta water for last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.

Combine cooked pasta, broccoli, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, evaporated milk, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and black pepper in large bowl. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over macaroni mixture. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10 minutes until lightly browned.


Pumpkin Goodness

I attempted my first pumpkin pie today! It was a test run for Thanksgiving and I will be bringing it in to work for testing on Monday. I'll update the blog with reviews...

The Classic Libby Pumpkin Pie (found on the can of pumpkin)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Whipped cream on top (optional)
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Pasta Perfection... almost!

I found a good recipe on for a three cheese pasta sauce. I used some parts of one recipe and some parts of another. I enjoyed it but the presentation was not the prettiest. Because of the cheeses I used the sauce wasn't as smooth as I wanted it. It was half melted cheese/half liquid. But the taste made up for it. Here's the recipe:

Three Cheese Pasta
  • 1/4 cup fontina, shredded (use frozen fontina for easier shredding)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pasta (I used linguine)

After the pasta water starts boiling put in pasta. In a separate pot on medium heat pour in the milk. Add fontina and mozzarella. Stir continuously so the cheeses don't burn. Add a pinch of pepper and salt to taste.

Optional: a pinch of nutmeg (I didn't have any).

When cheese is fully melted add a 1/4 cup of white wine. Put pasta in a skillet and cover with cheese sauce. Top with half of the Parmesan and toss it all together. Top with other half of Parmesan.

Serves two. I served with Texas Toast and salad.


Quick Fix

I had pollo asada and rice... I mixed them together for a pretty fast and easy meal. It was pretty good. I served it with salad topped with a sour cream salsa, shredded cheddar and tortilla strips.

Source: My head :)

Arroz con Pollo
  • 1/2 pound pollo asada, diced and pre-marinaded
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Put stove on medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot put pollo asada in pan and cook until done. Mix with rice and serve with sides.

My new toy...

For our wedding we got a T-Fal waffle/sandwich maker. I use it all the time for waffles and LOVE it but I never used it for sandwiches. I bought havarti and turkey at the deli the other day so when I came home from visiting my grandma at the hospital today I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch. I got out the directions and started going. The end result was so good. It tasted exactly like a hot pocket.


I was up for some french toast this morning so I got out the ingredients and went to work. I put a bit of pumpkin pie spice in the mix and boy were they good!

Source: The Joy of Cooking

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

  • 2/3 cup whole milk, cream or half and half
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I added this in)
  • bread of your choice (I used cinnamon swirl bread)
Mix all ingredients together and soak bread on both sides. Heat skillet on medium and melt two tablespoons of butter in skillet. Put bread on skillet (fit as many on but don't crowd too much). Cook until golden and flip to cook other side. Top with your favorite toppings... butter, syrup, fruit, etc.

** Modified WW Version **
  • 2 Tbsp 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 large egg(s)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 slice Wheat bread
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
Same prep instructions as above

8 WW points

Fine Filet

While shopping at the grocery store the other day I saw that there was fresh cut filet mignon out in the butcher's case so I grabbed two pieces (yum!) and as soon as I got home I headed over to the WC board on to post asking for good suggestions. Boy did I get them! To see the link to the post click here. I decided to go with a suggestion from mrs.jsmtih.

Source: mrs.jsmtih

Filet Mignon
  • 2 cuts of filet mignon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup merlot
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mashed Potatoes
  • 4 small red potatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

I butterflied the filets and salt and peppered them. I placed the stove on medium and put some butter in a pan to melt it a bit. Once the butter was melted I put the steaks in the pan and cooked each side for five minutes. I than placed the steaks in a dish and put them in the oven (350 degrees). I deglazed the pan with some merlot and water and added a little cream. After the sauce was ready I plated the mashed potatoes I made (red potatoes, garlic, cream, butter, salt & pepper) and put the steaks on top of the mashed potatoes. I drizzled the sauce over the steaks and served with a nice spinach salad. YUM again!

Fishy Fun

I was in the mood for something different so I went to the market and bought some fresh salmon. I searched a few recipes online and just took ingredients from some of them and didn't include ingredients I didn't have. This is what I ended up with:

Herb Crusted Salmon
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp basil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry herbs together. Drizzle oil over salmon and turn salmon over a few times to fully coat both sides with oil. Salt and pepper salmon. Shake herb mixture over salmon. Place in oven and bake 15-30 minutes depending on thickness of salmon. Salmon will be flaky and opaque when done.

Source: My head :)


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