Weight Watcher’s Mexican Casserole

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Weight Watcher’s Mexican Casserole is going to be your favorite new casserole recipe. It’s packed with ground beef, tomatoes, corn, and black beans. I managed to cut back the sodium content down to about 200 mg using no salt added canned food. I’ve been on this low sodium kick lately and I found no salt added corn, black beans, and tomatoes at the grocery store. I even found low sodium taco seasoning. The only ingredients that had sodium in it was the cheese and corn tortillas.

Trying to watch your sodium levels is hard. There is salt in everything pretty much. I’ve been doing a lot  of research online trying to find low sodium substitutes. Usually for breakfast I’ll have a greek yogurt and a banana. Star Kist Tuna makes a low sodium tuna so I’m going to try having that for lunch this week.

I hope you like this casserole dish just as much as I did! Serve with your favorite taco condiments such as sour cream, avocado, etc….

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Weight Watcher's Mexican Casserole
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (drained or rinsed!)
  • ½ cup onion (chopped)
  • ¼ cup canned jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 (15 ounce) can diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 (1¼ ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ¾ cup nonfat sour cream
  • ⅓ cup reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • ⅓ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, to taste (or less (or more)
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and chopped onions in large skillet; brown 10 to 12 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring constantly. Drain well and rinse with warm water to remove all fat; return beef/onions to skillet.
  2. Add corn, black beans, tomatoes, chilies/jalapenos and taco seasoning mix; mix well. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile spray 12x8-inch (2-quart) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cut each tortilla in half; place 8 halves in bottom of sprayed baking dish, overlapping slightly.
  4. Spoon half of beef mixture evenly over tortillas. Spoon sour cream over beef mixture; spread evenly. Top with remaining 8 tortilla halves and remaining beef mixture. (Cover tightly with foil & Freeze for later OR cook as directed below…).
  5. (Thaw overnight if frozen) Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with cheese. Cover; let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh chopped lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, black olives, etc… /.
  6. Makes 6 large Servings at 9 weight watcher pts/each.
Notes
Calories 355.4
Fat 5.8 g
Carbohydrate 52.2 g
Fiber 10.3 g
Protein 26.7 g

Points Plus: 9
Servings: 6

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Orange Chicken Salad

 

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I am so excited! I downloaded a book for taking better pictures of my food and I’ve only been reading it for a day now. Already, I’ve learned lots and I’ve been trying to shoot more in manual mode. Hopefully my pictures start impressing you guys! I’ve been trying to improve my photographs since starting this blog.

This orange chicken salad is so good and perfect to eat after a really good work out! I over dressed my salad with the dressing and that can really make a salad taste terrible sometimes so I made a new bowl of it. Think I’ll be having this for dinner. Peanut dressing would be really good with this salad also. The chow mein noodles give the salad a nice little crunch to it also. Added in some avocado.

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Asian/Orange Chicken Salad recipe from FOOD.com

Calories 350.7
Fat 21.3 g
Carbohydrate 19.3 g
Fiber 3.9 g
Protein 22.0 g

Points Plus: 9 per serving

Servings: 6

Orange Chicken Salad
 
Ingredients
  • DRESSING
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons canned mandarin juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 -4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • SALAD
  • 1 small romaine lettuce, torn in pieces (or use a iceberg lettuce, chopped)
  • 4 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts (shredded or chopped)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup coarsely grated carrot
  • 2 cups dry chow mein noodles (can use more or less)
  • ⅓ cup toasted slivered almonds or ⅓ cup chopped peanuts
  • canned mandarin oranges (drained, reserve 2 teaspoons juice for the dressing)
Instructions
  1. Mix all dressing ingredients until well combined; refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce with chicken, green onions, dry noodles, carrot and slivered almonds or chopped peanuts; mix to combine.
  3. Pour on the dressing; toss to combine.
  4. Top with mandarin orange segments.
  5. Serve immediately.

 

 

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

 

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Happy Easter! Here is another great recipe to take to an Easter get together.

Re-posting this recipe! Going through some of my old recipes and taking new pictures for them. For some reason when I transferred my domain over some of my images from 2011 got lost in the transfer.

This looks like an easy recipe to make but with the jello being poured on top of the cream cheese mixture all the jello kind of just seeps to the cream cheese. It still looks nice though. No matter what happens to this recipe, I don’t think you can mess it up, and it will still taste good. If you want to lighten up this recipe use 1/3 less fat cream cheese,  light or no fat cool whip and less butter than what this recipe originally calls for! Your family will love it!

 

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Adapted from Paula Deen (via “Paula’s Home Cooking,” Food Network)

Crust:

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (You want small pieces, but don’t pulverize them in a food processor.)
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping

Topping:

  • 2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix (you can use sugar free if you’d like)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. For the Crust: Grab a medium bowl, add the pretzels, butter and 3 tablespoons of sugar, and mix them together. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan. Bake for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. For the Filling: In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled.

4. For the Topping: In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

5. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped topping.

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I saw this posted at Ezra Pound Cake and thought it was weird that it had the word Salad in the title. It looked more like a dessert recipe to me. Whatever… that’s Paula Dean for you! I posted it on my facebook page and lot’s of people said that it brought back memories, of how their mom always used to make that salad. How come my mom never made me this salad?? Boooo hooo!!! :(

This recipe would be great to take to a pot luck for work, a baby shower, bridal shower, and heck even a family reunion! This was so yummy. Ben thought it could have used more pretzels in the crust and I agreed. Whenever I make this again, I’ll probably add 3 cups of pretzels. I did use light cool whip, light cream cheese, and half the amount of butter that the recipe called for.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

BBLT

Any type of sandwich is better on a bagel, especially a BLT sandwich. Plain old bread for sandwiches can be pretty boring too. Why not change it up a bit and use a bagel instead? There was no mayonnaise in the house, but I had a container of Philadelphia Chive Cream Cheese. I believe that may be my new mayo whenever I make a BLT sandwich. Bagels are kind of pointy, but Thomas Bagel Company makes bagel thins for only 3 points. Everything bagels make good sandwiches too. I really really want some lox now. :)

 

Servings: 1

Points Plus: 9

1 Thomas Bagel Thin

2 strips of bacon

2 slices of tomato

1 lettuce leaf

2 tablespoons of Philadelphia Chive Cream Cheese

Directions:

Toast the bagel. Spread with Philadelphia cream cheese. Top with 2 slices of bacon, tomato, and lettuce. Enjoy.

Chicken Tamale Casserole


Ben and I tried tamales this weekend at the lake for first time. They were so good too. If you’ve never had a tamale before, it’s kind of like an enchilada but it’s cooked in the corn husk. You make the dough out of masa harina and stuff it with ground beef, chicken, beans, whatever you like. Then you roll the dough and beef mixture together using the corn husks and steam that for additional 50 minutes. Sounds complicated right?

I wanted to try making them at home and I found this recipe. It had 322 reviews on myrecipes.com. This recipe almost reminded me of the Bubble Up Enchilada recipe that’s been really popular on this site. The corn muffin mix would be the biscuit part and you just top it with whatever kind of protein you like. Like chicken for instance. I think after making this recipe, I’m going to try making my own tamales one time, this recipe didn’t really live up to it’s name.

I leave you with a beautiful picture of the sunset this weekend.

Calories: 354, Fat: 14.1, Carbs: 36.3, Fiber: 2.5, Protein: 18.9
Points Plus: 9 (cut into 8 equal size portions)

Servings: 8

Ingredients from Cooking Light

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided $
1/3 cup fat-free milk $
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray $
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

I signed up for Weight Watchers today. I tried losing the weight by myself but it didn’t work. My goal is to lose at least 20 pounds so I can stop taking my blood pressure medication. Wish me luck! :)

Late Night Pasta

If you ever thought pasta carbonara was intimidating to make, then you’re in luck. I have tried making pasta carbonara before, but the eggs always ended up scrambling because the pan was too hot or something.

Cooking a fried egg to put over the top of the pasta is MUCH easier. All you have to do is wait for the egg whites to get cooked through and the yolk should still be runny. It’s quiet heaven, cutting into the egg and getting a combination of the pasta and bacon together. Just remember to save the pasta water, that’s the part I always forget sometimes! I’d kind of like one of those pasta pans that you keep in the big pot of boiling water while the pasta is cooking. That way, the pasta water won’t get dumped down the drain and you won’t forget it. I’d make this again anytime.

I used cooking spray to cook the fried eggs and reduced the amount of butter used. There’s enough here for 3 servings actually. You can opt to leave out the butter completely if you’d like because the pasta water makes the sauce pretty creamy. I used about a tablespoon for ours to make it a little richer. :)

Servings: 3

Points Plus: 9 (figured using the WW calculator on their website)

Ingredients from Martha Stewart

6 ounces thin spaghetti or tagliolini
3 pieces applewood smoked bacon, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Coarse salt

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta and cook for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, place bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cook, stirring until onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes.

While onion is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet. Carefully crack eggs into skillet and cook until whites are just set. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Add garlic to skillet with bacon and onion and stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid to skillet; drain pasta and add to skillet. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and reduce heat to low. Add cheese and toss until melted and sauce is well combined.

Divide pasta evenly between two serving bowls; top with fried egg and season with pepper. Serve immediately.

Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Onions

We had burgers two nights in a row. Yesterday, I got a coupon in my email for a free burger at Ruby Tuesdays. Ben and I love the triple prime burgers there. They’re so yummy, but one of those burgers is 31 points. Yikes! A good thing, I only ate half of the burger.  We only do that about once a month though, that is, go and indulge in a fatty burger like that. Yumm….I’m surprised my blood pressure was still low this morning when I tested it, believe the running is helping with that part.:)

This was a good gourmet burger and lived up to it’s name. I think from now on, whenever we have burgers I’ll have to make some caramelized onions to put on top of them. Have you noticed lately I’ve been on a caramelized onion kick? I also made an avocado orange salad to go a long with this and that was delicious. Who knew avocado and orange would go so well together?  I almost felt like putting that salad on top of this burger instead of lettuce.

 

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Nutrition Info
Calories: 370, Fat 17.7g, Carbohydrates: 31.7g, Fiber 8.1g, Protein: 31.1g
Servings: 4
Points Plus for burger: 9
Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced shallots
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef, 90% lean
2 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup) $
1 cup baby arugula
4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted $
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise

Preparation

1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; keep warm.

2. Gently combine garlic and beef. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in the center of each patty. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Top each patty with 2 tablespoons cheese; cover and cook 1 minute or until cheese melts.

4. Place 1/4 cup arugula on bottom half of each bun; top with 1 patty and one-fourth of shallots. Spread about 2 teaspoons mayonnaise on top half of each bun; place on top of burgers.

Cheddar and Bacon Cornmeal Waffle Sandwiches

You know what, I’m starting to like the Cooking Channel a lot better. They actually post pictures a long with their recipes un-like the Food Network. There are still a few of my favorites on the Food Network though, like Ina Garten and the Pioneer Woman. I was watching Bobby Flay make this on his show one morning (Brunch with Bobby or something like that) and it looked so good. He made this a long with some peach muffins, a breakfast burrito, and a smoothie that I also have to try to try. I had all the ingredients on hand so I decided this would be my dinner on Sunday night. Ben didn’t want to try and he just had a plain old waffle instead of this yummy sandwich.

I made this waffle batter and they turned out great with the corn meal. Never tried making a waffle batter with that stuff before. I came up with about 7 waffles. On Bobby’s show he used two waffles to make the sandwich and I thought that would have been way too much, so I just used one waffle and cut it down the middle. The mustard/maple syrup was good over the bacon and cheddar cheese. I tried to figure out this recipe the best I could to make it lighter but to heck it with it. Did you know there’s a such thing as low sodium bacon and cheese too? (for those of us who like to watch how much sodium we intake) Who would have thought. This waffle sandwich was the bomb.

Servings: 6 (I used only 1 waffle to make the sandwich, 1% milk instead of buttermilk, and 2% cheddar cheese)

Points Plus: 9

Ingredients
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar
6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
Special equipment: a waffle iron

Directions
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk, butter, 1/4 cup of the maple syrup and eggs in a medium bowl until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

Heat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. Spray the grates of the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Use a scant 1/2 cup of the batter per grid, close the cover and cook until golden brown or when the steam stops emerging from the waffle iron, about 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. The recipe will make 6 waffles.

Meanwhile, whisk together the Dijon mustard and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup in a small bowl.

Place 3 waffles on a large baking sheet in a single layer and spread some of the mustard over the tops of each waffle. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Place in the oven until the cheese has melted.

Arrange one-third of the bacon slices on the cheesy waffles and drizzle with a little more of the Dijon mustard mixture. Top with the reserved 3 waffles. Slice on the diagonal and serve warm.