July 25, 2013

Butternut Squash Fries

Meet my little friend, Mr. Butternut. He's been helping me to overcome my french fry addiction by offering me a healthy alternative. I highly recommend his services.

I LOVE french fries. As in, I could skip the burger and just eat the fries. They are the ultimate comfort food, but unfortunately, the ultimate fatty food. When I started Weight Watchers back in 2012, I came across Hungry Girl's french fry alternative, and gave it a test drive. To me they fall somewhere in between the french fry and the sweet potato fry, but unlike french fries and sweet potato fries, these butternut babies are ZERO Weight Watcher points plus values! Score! Almost a year later, and I'm still relying on this simple recipe to curb the fry craving.

You start out by slicing the ends off of your butternut squash and peeling it with a vegetable peeler.
Oh yeah, and now would be a good time to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Next you slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds from the round bottom half. 

From there you can cut it up into French fry shapes/spears however you please. I usually cut each half right when the neck meets the round bottom and go from there.

Once your squash is cut into french fry shapes, lay the fries out on a paper towel and sprinkle them lightly with salt. This part is pretty cool. The salt will slowly pull the moisture out of the squash fries, and they'll start to look like they're sweating. I leave mine for about 5-10 minutes. Once they're worked up a good sweat, blot them dry with another paper towel to remove the moisture.
Skipping this important step will lead to soggy fries, so no shortcuts!

Now it's time to bake them! To bake mine, I take a wire cooling rack, spray it with non-stick cooking spray, and lay it inside a cookie sheet. This helps the fries to breath better and to cook more evenly, which leads to crispier fries. If you don't have a cooling rack, just spray the cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and lay them directly on the cookie sheet. No bigs.

Bake the fries for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Fries are done when they start to brown on the edges and get crispy.

Serve them with your condiment of choice and enjoy!

{shared with Homegrown & Healthy's Mostly Homemade Mondays}

July 18, 2013

Lemony Low Calorie Hummus with Garlic & Cumin

It's no secret that I'm a chips and dip kinda girl. When the smoothness of a dip meets the crunchiness of a chip, my mouth just can't resist. Consequently, it's very easy for me to overindulge when chips and dips are at my fingertips, so I've refrained from buying them for quite some time. Last week, I welcomed guacamole back into the fridge, and this week I'm welcoming hummus! Normally, I buy Sabra hummus, but it's 2 Weight Watcher points plus values for only 2 tablespoons, which isn't worth it to me. The recipe I'm about to share with you is only 1 Weight Watcher points plus value for 1/4 cup! Can we say, "score"?! And I think you'll be very happy with the flavors. I over-salted my first batch, so be careful with the salt. Other than that, I thought the flavor combination was delicious for this low calorie treat.

In case you're unfamiliar with the main ingredient in hummus, let me introduce you to the garbanzo bean. (When the word "garbanzo" comes out of my mouth, it triggers visions of Gonzo from the Muppet Babies in my head. But I digress. Now back to the bean.)

Garbanzo beans are also called chickpeas. Like other beans and lentils, they are very high in fiber and also a great source of protein and iron. And they're cheap, so you get lots of bang for you buck. I used canned garbanzo beans for this recipe, but you could also buy the dried variety (which would increase your preparation time greatly because you would need to soak and cook them first). In my opinion, canned works just fine!

And now for the recipe...



Lemony Low Calorie Hummus with Garlic & Cumin

(adapted from Not Done Yet blog)


2 cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups of cooked beans if using the dried variety)
3-5 cloves of garlic, depending on your taste for garlic (I used 5)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon salt


Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until all ingredients are fully integrated and the hummus is a smooth, thick texture. I started by pulsing the mixture several times, scraping the sides and stirring the mixture every few pulses. After pulsing for a while, I let the food processor run for about 1-2 minutes to get the mixture nice and smooth. Pour prepared hummus into a bowl and serve with pita chips, pretzel sticks, or your favorite veggies. Enjoy!

This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of hummus or 12 {1/4-cup} servings. Each serving is 1 Weight Watcher points plus value.

July 1, 2013

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Quick & Healthy Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing {Recipe Below}

A couple of week ago, I had a delicious taco salad for lunch. I tried a new recipe for a Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing to pour over the taco salad. I'm a cilantro-lover so I thought it was the perfect touch to the salad. It's low-calorie, and only 1 Weight Watcher point plus for 1/4 of the recipe, which equals to a little under 1/4 cup per serving.


Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing



1/3 cup light sour cream (not fat free!)
1/3 cup low fat plain yogurt (Fage 2% would be a good choice!)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (curious how I chop my herbs?), loosely packed
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


Combine all ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth! Best served over taco salad.  Enjoy!