Mexican Macaroni Salad


Mexican Macaroni Salad from Ree Drummond is going to be your next favorite pasta salad. This salad is packed full of black beans, tomatoes, corn, salsa, and cumin.  Add in whatever favorite Mexican toppings you like to this salad!


Mexican Macaroni Salad Ree Drummond


Did anyone follow the Next Food Network Star this season? I’m seriously ticked off about the winner this time. I never liked Lenny from the beginning, him and the Butcher Babe.  The first time I saw him, I thought, who is this annoying looking cowboy dude that they picked this time? Everybody else seems to love him though. My favorites were Emma and Lucca but Emma ended up getting eliminated and Luca had a really a good chance. REALLY GOOD chance. He was handsome and had that Italian accent.   I’d rather listen to him prounounce Italian food words than Giada. After they annouced the winner last night, I flicked off the tv screen, and then went outside to take pictures of the Super Moon.

Mexican Macaroni Salad Ree Drummond

The last pasta salad recipe I made which was a BLT Pasta Salad recipe did really well, so I’m hoping this one does just the same. People seem to really like pasta salads.  This recipe came from Ree Drummond,   One of my favorite Food Network Stars and food bloggers. I’ve tried many of her recipes and have never had any problems with them, most of them are super easy to make to like this one.   This Mexican Macaroni salad is packed with all your favorite Mexican ingredients: Black Beans, Tomatoes, Corn, Salsa, and Cumin. The pasta salad sauce has salsa in it which is my favorite part. Just look at how colorful this pasta salad looks!

Mexican Macaroni Salad Ree Drummond

Mexican Macaroni Salad
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling grill
  • 2 ears corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup finely chopped black olives
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black
  1. For the salad: Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat an indoor grill and brush with oil. Cook the ears of corn, turning, until browned and cooked through. Cut the kernels off the cobs.
  3. Put the corn in a big bowl with the black beans, olives, tomatoes, green onions and red onions and toss to combine.
  4. For the dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the salsa, sour cream, mayonnaise, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the salad ingredients and fold together until everything is coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Serve chilled.
Points Plus: 7
Used Light Mayo, and Light Sour Cream to figure out nutrition

Add some chicken to make it a whole meal!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12 Calories: 268 Fat: 5.3g Carbohydrates: 45.7g Fiber: 5.9g Protein: 10.3g


Shrimp Tacos with Mango Citrus Slaw

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This is a recipe inspired by a lot of recipes and combined into one. Bobby Flay wins for the longest recipe title ever: Grilled Fish Tacos with Avocado Relish, Smoky Tomato-Greek Yogurt Crema and Red Cabbage-Citrus Slaw.  If you want to see this title in action you can click here for the full recipe.   He made that on his show this weekend. I always end up wanting whatever he makes on his show, because everything looks SO GOOD. He is an iron chef after all.

What I ended up doing was making the red cabbage citrus slaw dressing and put that on top of bag of pre-shredded coleslaw with carrots at the grocery store. You HAVE to make this salad dressing and try that. I’m so lazy and I never feel like buying those big heads of cabbage for only 2 people. That would end up going to waste. I’ve never been a fan of coleslaw cause it was just a mayo based dressing on top of that. Not anymore with this dressing. Thai Peanut Dressing is also good on top of coleslaw.

I used the rub Bobby Flay made for his fish tacos and put that on some shrimp. Then, I toasted the flour tortillas in a skillet with a little oil and topped this off with some Sriracha mayo with lemon. Best tacos ever.

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Shrimp Tacos with Mango Citrus Slaw
  • For the Citrus Dressing:
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons clover honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 bag of preshredded coleslaw with carrots
  • 1 mango diced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • For the Shrimp Rub:
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 25 Jumbo Shrimp
  • Canola Oil or Cooking Spray
  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  1. Put the lemon juice, orange juice, honey, mustard, basil and some salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the canola oil until emulsified. Toss on coleslaw with chopped mango and avocado. You do not need all dressing, just to your liking.
  2. Brush the top of the shrimp with canola oil, and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and about 3 tablespoons of the spice rub. Let stand for 5 minutes, then grill the shrimp, spice-side down, over direct heat until the fish is lightly charred and comes away from the grill easily, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 minutes to sear on the reverse side. Move the shrimp over indirect heat, cover the grill, and cook until the fish is just cooked through, another 3 to 4 minutes; the shrimp should be just firm when squeezed lightly on the sides. Remove the shrimp to a platter and let rest for a few minutes.
  3. Grill the flour tortillas on the until toasted.
  4. Assemble the tacos. Shrimp and then cabbage mango slaw on top. Use whatever kind of sauce you like on top.
Nutrition info figured out without Dressing.
7 PP per Taco
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 Calories: 269 Fat: 8.5 Carbohydrates: 42g Fiber: 5.2 Protein: 9


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Weight Watcher’s Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

Weight Watcher's Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

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Weight Watcher’s Deep Dish Pizza Casserole comes together in under 30 minutes. The crust is store bought, so you don’t have to wait for it to rise and kneed the dough, and it takes under 10 minutes to brown the ground beef.  Browning the ground beef is probably the hardest part. Prep all your ingredients while the ground beef is browning and you’re pretty much done. Super easy and you can use whatever your favorite toppings are. I just added a couple slices of pepperoni to mine and garnished the pizza with some parmesan cheese and some herbs. So good!

I didn’t have any Italian Style stewed tomatoes, so what I did was use an 8 oz can of no-salt added tomato sauce, some italian seasoning, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Turned out marvelous!

Weight Watcher's Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

Recipe adapted from

Weight Watcher's Deep Dish Pizza Casserole
  • 1 lb ground round
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chunky Italian-style tomatoes
  • cooking spray (Pam)
  • 1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough
  • 6 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Cook meat in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Drain, if necessary, and return to skillet. Add tomatoes, and cook until heated through.
  3. While meat cooks, coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of the baking dish. Top the pizza crust with meat mixture.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 12 minutes. Top with cheese, and bake 5 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings. Each serving is 6 Weight Watcher's points.
  5. Serve with a salad mixed field greens and a fat-free or low-fat vinaigrette.
  6. Read more:
Calories 282.4, Fat 19.7 g, Carbohydrate 5.1 g, Fiber 0.7 g, Protein 20.5 g
Points Plus: 7
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6


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Crock Pot Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

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It’s been kind of cold and rainy here in Fargo, ND and that is not good for taking pictures! I just want it to be bright outside because that is when the sun is shining through our big living room window the most! I’ve been doing a lot of research reading about food photography and studying food photos and all I’ve been wanting to do is take pictures of food lately.  I took the pic above on a bright sunny day and it turned out much better than some pictures of fruit I was trying to take today.

This Crock Pot Teriyaki pork recipe is best served over a big bowl of rice. I found that out on Sunday when I wanted to try just eating it with some pineapple and fresh herbs on top. Nope. Was trying to be healthy but failed big time. This pork however would be great with some rice, pork, and pineapple on top!

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For some extra sweetness I added in some pineapple juice.

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Recipe from Chef Ron Lock

Servings: 6
Fat 8.35g, Carbs: 16.99g, Fiber: 0.6g, Protein 33.31g

Points Plus 7


Crock Pot Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 fresh red chile pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ large onion, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown tenderloins on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together teriyaki sauce, chicken broth, and brown sugar in a bowl.
  4. Stir in garlic, red chile pepper, onion, and black pepper.
  5. Put browned tenderloins into slow cooker, cover with the teriyaki sauce mixture.
  6. Cook on High for about 4 hours, turning 2 to 3 times during the cooking time to ensure even doneness.
  7. Remove tenderloins from the slow cooker and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  8. If desired, spoon liquid over slices when serving.

Pepperoni Pita Pizzas


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If you haven’t noticed lately, I’ve been trying to post more healthy recipes. I’ve been watching my google analytics a lot lately, and that is what you people seem to like the most that visit my site. So, more healthy recipes it is! Don’t be surprised if I post a really fattening recipe

These lighter pepperoni pizzas are only 7 points plus a piece for the whole pizza if using turkey pepperoni slices. Pepperoni is fattening in general and hard to not avoid all the fat and calories. I really like using pitas for a pizza crust now. You can do a lot with them. Let your pizza creativity run wild. The pita brand I like is called Josephs’ and one pita has 60 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per pita.

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1 Josephs’ Pita Bread 60 calorie

1 tablespoon of pizza sauce

2 tablespoons of reduced fat mozzarella cheese

6 slices of Turkey Pepperoni


Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

Parmesan Cheese



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1 pita bread on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Take the pita out and top it with the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is all melted. Garnish with parsley or parmesan cheese.

Serving Size: 1 pizza

Calories: 262
Carbs: 14.07
fat: 13.28
Fiber: 5.5
Protein: 25.76


Weight Watchers Crock Pot Turkey Chili

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I have been watching what I eat lately, and counting my calories. So far, I’ve lost 5 pounds! It hasn’t been easy too.  I was getting so frustrated with myself because of it,  I just had to force myself to do it. I’m using to keep track of calories. What I like most about that site is that it figures out calories, protein, fat grams, and so on for recipes. It’s kind of like another and joining is free.

I’ve also been expanding my chili horizon recently. I used to only like chili with beef and beans and a lot of spice in it. Now, I’m adding more vegetables to my chili like onions and bell peppers. Call me crazy, I know. Chili is very filling and if you use lean ground turkey the chili is now a low fat bowl of goodness with all those vegetables. I like to top my chili with cheese, chips, and green onions.


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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) jar deli-sliced tamed jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the rest of the recipe, please visit Two Peas and Their Pod’s website!

Calories: 280;  Fat 4:6; Carbs 41;  Fiber 12.8; Protein: 20.59

Points Plus: 7 (serving size = 1 cup)


Weight Watchers Spaghetti Pie


Sorry I haven’t posted lately. My fancy dslr camera has died. :( The memory card won’t even insert into the camera and I’ve already sent that camera back to Nikon once and it was pretty expensive to get it fixed. I might be buying a new camera here pretty soon, so I’m stuck taking pictures with my fancy Nokia Lumia phone. I highly recommend these phones because the camera quality on them is AMAZING. I have the 920 which has 10 megapixels on it, but now the 1020 is coming out and has 40 megapixels on it. It is a Windows based phone which I like too.

This pie was really good. Like lasagna, there is the basic noodle layer, cottage cheese layer, and meat sauce layer, but this is in pie format. That is right 3.14. You can use 93% lean ground beef or lean ground turkey to make this pie lighter, and use low fat mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese. It came to 7 points plus a piece for 8 servings. The points plus would be around 10 if you changed the serving size to 6. Enjoy!

Note: I only cover the pie with half the cheese because I have a husband who doesn’t eat dairy products. :)


Spaghetti Pie


6 oz spaghetti
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 and 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Set aside.

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Toss pasta with egg and 4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese. Press the spaghetti mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.

Brown Italian sausage. Drain fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce and basil.

Combine cottage cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Spread over spaghetti. Top cottage cheese with meat sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. (It will be runny and fall apart if you serve it immediately)

Breakfast Quinoa

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If you like having oatmeal for breakfast quinoa is kind of like that, but it’s like a fancier upgrade to oatmeal. To cook quinoa all you do is boil it in some water or milk. Usually 1 cup of quinoa you use 2 cups of liquid and just boil the quinoa until it all the water evaporates. The organic quinoa was rather expensive at my store. 1 cup was 4.98 a pound. That is quite a lot, so maybe opt for the non-organic kind. I know Trader Joe’s has bags of quinoa in their store, not exactly sure on the price of it though.

Quinoa is SUPER healthy too. 1 cup has 8 grams of protein in it and has more fiber than any other grain. I actually like this more than regular rolled oats now. You can add basically whatever type of fruit you want to quinoa and nuts to give you even more protein value!

This recipe makes 2 whole cups of quinoa so there’s 2 servings for the whole recipe. 1 cup is A LOT so this is really filling.

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Breakfast Quinoa recipe from Martha Stewart

Servings: 2

1 cup

Calories: 260, Fat: 4.37g, Carbs: 43.76g, Fiber: 3.3g, Protein: 12.74g

Points Plus: 7


2 cups whole or low-fat milk, plus more for serving
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar, plus more for serving
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for serving
1 cup (1/2 pint) fresh blueberries, plus more for serving


Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until three-quarters of the milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Cook, covered, until almost all the milk has been absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in blueberries, and cook for 30 seconds. Serve with additional milk, sugar, cinnamon, and blueberries.