Crock Pot Chicken Verde – 3 Ways

This recipe was born of necessity.  I needed lunch for the week and this is what I had in the pantry and freezer.  Well, let me tell you, it was a happy accident because, in just about 5 minutes of prep work, I had this going in the crockpot.  The result is 3 recipes in one! Throughout the week, I ate this as a dip (my favorite way), a soup with the addition of a little chicken broth, and a rice bowl…so versatile, so delicious!  ~Erin


Chicken Verde – 3 Ways
  • ~1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use the individually frozen kind)
  • ~1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • ~1 can (16 oz.) fat free refried beans
  • ~1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn
  • ~1 c. fat free salsa verde
  • ~1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • ~2 - 3 T. ground cumin (I used 3 because I love cumin)
  • ~1 ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ~2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ~2 tsp. onion powder
  • ~Corn chips, for dipping (I use Good Thins The Corn One – found in the cracker aisle), optional
  • ~Cooked rice, optional for serving
  • ~Fat free chicken broth, optional
  • ~Chopped cilantro, optional
  • ~Cheese, optional
  1. Place frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. (You can use thawed breasts too but keep in mind it may cook faster.)
  2. Pour in beans, refried bean, corn, green chiles, & spices.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  4. Within the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken, shred, and add back to the slow cooker.
  5. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  6. Three ways to serve: 1. As a dip, serve with chips. 2. Add broth for a soup. Top with cheese, green onions, or chopped cilantro if desired. 3. Over rice; add cheese, green onions or cilantro if desired.
  7. Weight Watchers info: This is ZERO SmartPoints on Freestyle. Be sure to calculate your added points if you serve with rice, cheese, or chips.


Mahi Mahi Blackened Fish Tacos

I love, love, love a great fish taco, but I do not love the heavy, breaded fish restaurants too often throw into them.  This perfectly light and spicy blackened mahi mahi, on the other hand, can hold its own against the veggies for the perfect Mexican-flavored blend that a fish taco should have.


Mahi mahi is in fact, by far my favorite ocean fish.  It’s a really lovely light mild flavor, and it’s a thicker fillet than most readily available fish, so it doesn’t get lost in a flavorful recipe like this one.  It is a little more expensive than some alternatives in my land-locked Oklahoma, but its quality makes it well-worth the extra dollar or two for me, depending on the market, for that just-right taco every time.

This recipe is the perfect mix of spicy blackened fish, veggies, & lime juice.  It tastes like summer, and I’m all for anything that makes me feel like I’m on a beach somewhere!


Your mahi mahi should have this lovely golden coloring once it’s cooked up in the blackening seasoning.



Mahi Mahi Blackened Fish Tacos
  • ~12 oz. mahi mahi fish fillets (fresh is always ideal but I got mine frozen at the grocery store and they were great)
  • ~1 T. olive oil
  • ~6 Ole Extreme Wellness high fiber low carb tortilla wrap (8 inch)
  • ~½ c. yellow onion, chopped
  • ~½ c. pico de gallo (fresh pico de gallo can usually be found in the produce sections of major grocery chains)
  • ~2 c. cabbage, shredded
  • ~½ c. cilantro, rough chopped
  • ~2 limes for juice
    Blackening Ingredients:
  • ~1 ¾ tsp. packed brown sugar
  • ~2 T. smoked paprika
  • ~½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ~1 ½ tsp. garlic salt
  1. If mahi mahi is frozen, thaw completely.
  2. Mix blackening ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Reduce cayenne pepper if you prefer less heat; ½ tsp. makes for a rather spicy blackening.
  3. Once thawed, pat fish dry so that seasoning will stick.
  4. Sprinkle blackening seasoning onto a plate (a plate with a lip is best so it’s less likely to make a mess) to lay fish in and coat thoroughly. Flip and coat the second side of each fillet well.
  5. Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Add fish and cook on medium heat until cooked through — approximately 4 minutes on each side, flipping only once. Fish will be an opaque white color and will flake easily when cooked (internal temp should reach 145° F).
  6. Set cooked fish aside. Because there is very little oil in the pan already I do not recommend setting on a paper towel-lined plate, as it may remove too much of the blackening.
  7. Chop the fish into bite sized chunks once it’s cool enough; each taco will need about 1.5 oz. of fish.
  8. For each taco, I pile the Ole Wellness Wrap with a healthy sprinkling of yellow onion, then a small bed of cabbage, followed by the fish chopped into bite-sized chunks, a healthy serving of pico de gallo, and a good-sized pinch of cilantro sprinkled across the top. Finally, I drizzle it all with fresh-squeezed lime juice to taste.
  9. Weight Watchers Info.: Each taco is 3 Weight Watchers SmartPoints on the new Freestyle plan. Enjoy!


Jalapeño Pepper-Jack Turkey Meatballs

Y’all know one of my favorite flavor combinations is jalapenos and bacon. Remember my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili? It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Well, I recently had the idea to make a more main dish version of the well-known appetizer. I mean, I made the chili and it’s become one of my favorite soups/chilis ever! Plus it’s one of our most popular recipes (have you tried it yet?), so it stands to reason that I need more of this in my life. I promise you need this in your life too. Bacon, wrapped around jalapeno seasoned ground turkey, stuffed with pepper-jack cheese? Yes, please!


When I made these and served them to my family, I asked my youngest if he liked them. He just did this move…

Brady dab

I said, “what is that?!”

“A dab, Mom. That means I like it.”

Ha! Okay, I guess that’s a good review. Clearly, if my 7-year-old thinks these are dab-worthy, they must be good! ~Erin


1 lb. 99% fat free ground turkey breast

3 fresh jalapenos

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. garlic salt

½ tsp. onion powder

1 c. seasoned breadcrumbs (I used Progresso Garlic & Herb.)

8 slices center cut bacon, cut in half

3 oz. pepper jack cheese, cut into ¼ in. cubes (15 or 16 cubes)



Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Seed & finely chop the jalapenos (remove all the seeds and ribs if you don’t want much spice – that’s where a jalapeno holds its heat).

Mix the ground turkey, chopped jalapenos, egg, garlic salt, onion powder until well combined.

Mix in the seasoned breadcrumbs until just combined. Do not overmix.

Make a patty about the size of your palm, place a cube of cheese in the center and form the turkey around it to make a ball.

Wrap the meatball in half a slice of bacon. (I find it helps to stretch the bacon a bit, lengthwise, beforehand.)

Place on a baking sheet and repeat until you’ve made about 15 or 16 bacon-wrapped meatballs.

Bake in a preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until bacon is fully cooked and meatballs are golden brown and cooked through.

Weight Watchers info.: 2 SmartPoints per meatball, on WW Freestyle.

Butterscotch Pie

If your idea of butterscotch involves any type of bright yellow candy that is wrapped in cellophane, you are in for shock….REAL butterscotch tastes good!  Amazingly good!  This butterscotch pie is so good that we refuse to make it for group parties and potlucks.  Why? Because we want as much of it for ourselves as possible.  Not good for the waistline, but so good for the soul.

Occasionally as kids, we girls could sweet talk Mom into making a double batch of the pudding so we could have some to eat and still have plenty for the pie. In retrospect, she probably didn’t like to wait for the pie either – but she had us convinced that she was “giving in” and making extra pudding.  We can imagine her trying hard to keep a straight face as she’d say, “Well [sigh], I guess I could…”  Well played, Mom. Well played.  ~Robin and  Tracy


Ingredients for pie filling: 

4 T. butter

1 c. brown sugar, packed

1/3 c. flour

2 c. whole milk

3 egg yolks (slightly beaten) – save whites for meringue

1 tsp. vanilla


Ingredients for meringue:

4 egg whites (worth it to use one more egg so you don’t risk being short on meringue)

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. cream of tartar

½ c. sugar


Other ingredients:

The usual baking supplies for your favorite pie crust (or just follow package directions if using store-bought crust; be sure to set it out to thaw, if frozen)



Bake your pie shell; set aside to cool.  If it was on a different temp, change oven to 350 degrees and leave on.

For pie filling, begin by melting, then browning butter in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Do not leave on too low a temp or it will take for-e-ver.  You don’t have time to wait that long for this pie.  As butter gets ready to brown, it will begin to froth quite a bit (see photos below).  Trust the process and keep stirring constantly.  It will turn a nice deep brown before your eyes almost instantly.  Immediately when it turns brown, remove it from the heat.

Whisk in flour and brown sugar; blend in well.  Return to medium heat and then add milk and lightly beaten egg yolks and continue to stir constantly to keep from sticking.  Cook over direct heat until mixture thickens to pudding consistency.  Remove from heat; then add vanilla and stir it in.  Pour into baked pie crust.  Don’t overfill, as you will need to have exposed crust to seal the meringue.

For meringue, beat egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar for about one minute on medium speed – until soft peaks form.  Increase mixer to high speed, gradually adding sugar now (about 1 T. at a time). Beat on high about 4 or 5 minutes — until forms stiff, glossy peaks and sugar is dissolved. Immediately spread over pie, carefully sealing to the edge of pie crust to prevent shrinking.

Cook 12-15 min. at 350 degrees, or until meringue is golden brown. If edges of crust or top of meringue begin to brown too much, you may need to move pie to a lower oven rack.

Cool completely to room temperature before slicing.



Corned Beef Done Right

After I created this recipe, my family has become fans of corned beef. This isn’t the extremely salty, painful-to-eat corned beef you might have tasted in the school cafeteria or from the can (eeewww!). It is tender, juicy and flavorful. The slow cooker does all the work while you are busy through the day. Serve alongside mashed potatoes, a veggie or salad and dinner is served. Used leftovers to make a Reuben sandwich that will knock your socks off! ~Kathy



1 packaged corned beef, flat cut*

1 medium onion

1 c. beef broth

1 garlic clove

1/8 tsp black pepper

Red pepper flakes


Slice onion into thick slices or wedges. Place half of the onion into the bottom the slow cooker. Crush or mince garlic clove and place in slow cooker with onion. Add beef broth to slow cooker.

Remove corned beef from package. Discard seasoning packet. Rinse well to remove brine. Trim fat and discard. Place into slow cooker on top of onion and broth.

Top beef with black pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes and remaining onion.

Cover, cook on low for at least 8 hours.

When tender, remove to a platter and slice about ½ inch thick, against the grain.

*Packaged corned beef comes in two cuts: flat cut and point cut. They are labeled on the top of the package. You will want to ensure you have the flat cut for the best results.

Weight Watchers Info: Each 3 ounce serving is 6 SmartPoints.

Italian Turkey Sausage & Pepper Pasta

I’ve been making this for years…since before we had kids. In fact, when we were first married, we lived near a Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant and went there often. My husband always ordered a “Skilletini” which is a tomato based pasta dish served with peppers, onions, & sausage, much like this one. Maybe that’s why we love this so much. It reminds us of our newly-wed date nights. It was a favorite then and it’s a favorite now in our own home. ~Erin



8 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1 ¼ lb. turkey Italian sausage (5 links)

1 bell pepper of each color: green, red, yellow, and orange; sliced into strips

1 lg. onion, sliced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 T. squeeze garlic)

1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 T. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

3 T. of pasta water (reserved before draining cooked pasta)

1 T. olive oil

Parmesan cheese for serving, optional (not included in WW points calculations)

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional


Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; reserve 3 T. of pasta water, drain, & set aside.

Brown sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove from pan & set aside. You can either leave them whole to cook them, then slice each into four pieces; or you can slice and then cook them. I prefer to slice first and then cook the pieces because they cook faster. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Cook peppers and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they are crisp-tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).

Add the Italian seasoning, salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta water, and sliced sausage pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add penne pasta and stir to heat through.

Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 10 servings. Each 8 oz. serving (about 1 ½ c.) is 5 SmartPoints.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

We were raised Catholic, so growing up in our house meant fish on Fridays during Lent. I can still hear young Tracy groaning, even in my memories. Ha!! She hates all things seafood related. Luckily, I like it. One of my favorite dishes to make on Lenten Fridays is this Tuna Noodle Casserole. It reminds me of a something my mom made when we were kids so, for me, it’s comfort food…creamy and cheesy with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Yum! And honestly, the albacore tuna in this is so mild, I’m confident that even fish-hating folks like Tracy will like it! I’ll serve it to her next time she visits and report back. 😉  ~Erin



12 oz. uncooked egg noodles (I use No Yolks brand.)

3 pouches (2.6 oz. each) low sodium, white albacore tuna (I use Starkist brand.)*

2 cans (10 ½ oz. each) condensed 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup

1 can (10 ½ oz.) condensed cream of celery soup

1 c. fat free shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup chopped green onion (OR desired amount of frozen green peas, thawed)

1 c. panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. salt

Nonstick cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cook the egg noodles according to package directions, drain & set aside.

Spray a 9”x13” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine tuna, soups, cheese, noodles, salt, and green onions; spread mixture evenly in prepared casserole dish.

In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs together with olive oil; sprinkle evenly over tuna/noodle mixture.

I like to lightly spray the top with a bit more cooking spray, just to make sure it browns well, but that step is optional.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.

Weight Watchers info:  This makes 8 servings at 8 SmartPoints each on Freestyle.