Tasty Tsao

Last week I went to TJ's and tried a very tasty sample at their demo window. It was ground turkey, TJ's General Tsao's Stir Fry Sauce, and TJ's Harvest Grains blend. Boy was it tasty. Tasty enough for me to buy the sauce and the grains blend. Now let me tell you about this blend. It has couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans AND red quinoa! Hows that for grains? And only 3 points for half a cup! So I waited all weekend just excited as can be to try out my new items. I had to pick a night that Joseph wasn't home because he doesn't care too much for stir fry so I waited until he started up a new class he's taking for work.

It worked out perfectly! I chopped up some veggies (cremini mushrooms, broccoli and carrots), browned the ground turkey, steamed the veggies with the turkey, poured on the sauce and waited for the magic to happen! Five minutes later and I had a healthy, tasty meal! I served it with a side of the grains blend and mixed it up on my plate. I cannot wait to have this tasty meal again. It's not a 30 minute wonder... it's a 15 minute wonder!

Source: TJ's with a few additions from me

Turkey Stir Fry

  • 8 oz ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/4 cup cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup General Tsao's Stir Fry Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Harvest Grains Blend
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste for turkey
  • cooking spray

Bring chicken stock to a boil and add grains. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat pan on medium and spray with cooking spray (I used olive oil spray). When pan has heated add ground turkey and cook until lightly browned. Add veggies and cover for three minutes until veggies are cooked 1/2 way. Add sauce and stir. Cover again for 3 more minutes or until veggies are fully cooked.

Serve stir-fry over grain blend and enjoy!

Serves 2

6 WW points per serving (includes grains!)

Guess what I got today???

Blake Makes PBDDL! For those of you who don't know already, Blake Killian of BlakeMakes.com just gave away his second batch of peanut butter dulce de leche to the first 40 some people who responded to his blog post. Well I signed up as a Sooper Hero soon after the first give away and was bummed to find that I missed out on such a great product. When I heard Blake was giving away more soon I made sure to add him to my GR to keep up with the new progress of the next batch.

I had the date marked on my calender and was ready to post as soon as 8pm rolled around. Too bad I didn't read the fine print and 8pm my time was 9pm Blake's time! I posted a comment anyway hoping for a miracle and didn't hear anything back until today. I am walking to my front door after a long day at work... not only a long day but a long day with two loooong meetings... to find the best little box in the world (ok, second best after my engagement ring box). Joseph had no idea why I was screaming and jumping up and down holding a little white box...

So I finally caught my breath and explained to him what I stated above. He than asked why I was running to get my camera out... duh! I need to document this important moment in my life! ::insert husband rolling eyes here:: I ignored Joseph and went on to open my box in pure childish excitement.

All about the packaging

The cutest darn labels ever

It's real... I scored some PBDDL!

I cannot wait to start thinking about what I am going to make with my two jars. I am thinking something sweet with one and something savory with the other. Hmmm... I wonder how many WW points are in one jar... I don't even want to know :) And last but not least... the first thing I did when I opened a jar...

It was pretty darn good. Too bad Joseph's allergic to peanuts. I guess I am going to have to enjoy the creamy goodness for the both of us. I will be posting soon about my adventures with PBDDL!

Need a Family Photographer?

To all who haven't heard... my friend Tessa just started her family photography business this January and finally has her website up! Please visit it at www.grinandshareitphoto.com. And if you're in the San Diego area and looking for a family photographer check her out! I will update the post with a few photos she took of me and my 5 (yes, 5) siblings soon.

Stuffing Craze!

When making my menu this week I went back and checked my GR to see any starred items I might have missed. I am glad I did. I was looking for a simple, low ingredient meal and this fit. What's easier than spinach, feta, and garlic? Umm... I don't know. And what makes a better combination? I hope you enjoy this great chicken recipe as much as I do.

Source: sweet-savory-southern

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt and pepper
Begin by preheating the oven to 375. Then, make a pocket in the side of each chicken breast using a small paring knife. Don't cut all the way through though.

In a food processor, combine baby spinach, feta, garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Carefully spoon the spinach mixture into the pocket you cut into each chicken breast. Salt and pepper the tops of the chicken breasts.

From here, you can sear the chicken breasts in a skillet and then transfer to the oven to finish baking for about 20-25 min or just pop the chicken right into the oven to bake.

The "stuffing" ended up being way too much for our two chicken breasts so it turned out being 6 servings. You know what that means! Less points! Two heaping spoonfuls equals only one point! Add whatever size chicken breast you have the points for and you have a very low point dinner :)

It's my 50th!

I have been meaning to try this recipe FOREVER so I was so excited when I finally got to try it out. And I was not disappointed. I actually licked the plate! The recipe is for one serving so I doubled it. There was way too much sauce! I calculated the points for the sauce separately because of how much was left over after I poured two heaping spoons over the salmon. I am planning on using it on my chicken later on in the week. Too bad it didn't photograph as well as it tasted.

Source: Weight Watchers

Pan-Seared Salmon with Basil-Dijon Cream Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon shallot or red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 tablespoon Weight Watchers whipped cream cheese spread
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped into thin ribbons
  • 4 ounces boneless salmon fillet
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • non-stick cooking spray

Heat oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot, stirring constantly, until shallot starts to soften and edges become slightly brown, 2-3 minutes. Immediately add white wine and whisk in mustard until fully incorporated.

Whisk in milk until fully incorporated, then whisk in whipped cream cheese until fully incorporated. When cream cheese melts, stir in basil and remove from heat promptly. Using a rubber spatula, transfer sauce into a small bowl and set aside

Season all sides of salmon with salt and pepper. Heat same saute pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon (top-side down) onto center of pan and cook until slightly brown (2-3 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low.

Using a large spatula, flip salmon over, cover pan, and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches about 140 degrees, 4-5 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. Transfer salmon to a plate and drizzle sauce over fish.

6 Servings
1 WW point per serving

* I always either bake or BBQ my salmon. This is the first time I've "pan-seared" it and I was so impressed with a. how fast it cooked and b. how good it looked/tasted!

WC Jan/Feb Recipe Exchange - Light Dishes

Let me start off by saying how excited I was to have a healthy option for our exchange!! I started WW in November and our Christmas Exchange left me wanting to eat the whole cake I made! Joseph loved this meal partially because he loves anything with honey and soy sauce in it :) It was tasty and I'd definitely make it again.

Source: December issue of Every Day Foods

Lighter Sesame Chicken

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced

Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch water; set aside for broccoli. Cook rice according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until golden and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and chicken. Return all the chicken to skillet; add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, place saucepan with steamer basket over high heat; bring water to a boil. Add broccoli, and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve sesame chicken with broccoli and rice.

Serves 4
Chicken is 6 WW points
Rice is 3 WW points

I have been a bad wife...

... Or a good one depending on your definition. I have not cooked dinner for the past three nights! But we had great meals each night.

On Thursday I found out that my gym had a new class called BodyJam. Its a dance/cardio class that was in the perfect time slot. I called Joseph and let him know I wasn't coming home for dinner so he had to fend for himself.

I had been craving Rubio's and I thought it'd be a perfect meal before the gym. As I get out of my car to walk into Rubio's I see a Quiznos right next door. I never go into Quizno's but their advertising worked. They have these new Sammies that are under 200 calories and the Balsamic Chicken one looked too delicious to pass up. The warm flatbread, the seasoned chicken, the balsamic dressing and crisp lettuce. Let me just say that these little babies were worth their 4 points!

Friday night I just wasn't ready to cook. I didn't have any meat defrosted and HATE defrosting meat in the microwave. So I thought about any gift cards we might have laying around. And it hit me... Souplantation! My grandma gave us a gift card for Christmas and I'd been dying to use it. As soon as I got home I looked up the nutritional information on Souplantation's webpage to plan out my meal.

I, first, calculated how many points I had already eaten during the day and was happily surprised when I realized I still had 16 points left. Yipee! And even more good news... my Wonton Chicken Happiness was only 4 points per cup. So here was my meal:

1 c Wonton Chicken Happiness (4 pts)
1 c Red Leaf Lettuce (0 pts)
5 cucumber slices (0 pts)
1/2 c broccoli (0 pts)
1 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese (.5 pts)
1 tbsp sunflower seeds (1 pt)
1 tbsp kidney beans (0 pts)
1 c Low-Fat Chicken Noodle Soup (3 pts)
2 servings Quattro Formaggio Focaccia (6 pts)
2 tbsp Ranch Dressing (4 pts) AND SO WORTH IT!

Whole meal: 18.5 points! I only had to use 2.5 of my weekly 35. And if I could have just said no to the ranch I would have been under. It was all so worth it and definitely hit the spot. This won't be a regular going-out meal but now that I know their food isn't too bad I might try it every once in a while.

So now on to Saturday. Probably my best meal out of the three nights (if anything could top my Souplantation meal!). We went to Disneyland after a family baptism to just hang out and ride a few rides but were in for a treat. I have always wanted to try the Cafe Orleans and we've never got around to going. Their menu is very small and everything sounds delicious but I went with something I hardly ever choose... a vegetarian meal. I had their ratatouille and it was delicious!

The presentation was fabulous. The veggies were served on top of some marinara sauce and they placed two corn cake wedges on top. They diced all of the veggies except for the onions which they left halved. The spices and seasonings made this meal. I took half home with me and the whole way home it's all we smelled. Joseph's Monte Cristo was delicious as well. Fluffy and gooey all at the same time. We ended the night with a Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Soufle Crepe. Yup... that's right. A soufle inside of a crepe. I am sure the dessert alone was 20 points but it was so worth it. That's why I took two classes at the gym in the morning :)

I know there are no pictures in this post and apologize for the lack of but couldn't not blog about my yummy meals away from home. Now it's time to get back in the kitchen and stop slacking off!


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