Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

This is the easiest (and tastiest) unstuffed cabbage casserole ever.  Why?  No cabbage chopping/shredding required!  Instead, I take the short-cut of using bagged cole slaw mix to cut down on prep time. Ain’t nobody got time to hand-shred cabbage.  ~Erin



2 bags (16 oz. each) tri-color cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage & carrots)

1 ½ T. minced garlic, divided

1 T. olive oil

2 ½ tsp. salt, divided

1 ¼ tsp. black pepper, divided

1 lb. 96% lean ground beef

1 onion, finely diced

1 tsp. thyme

2 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. oregano

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes

2 cups cooked brown rice

3 cups shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional


Cook brown rice according to package directions; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large, high-sided skillet, saute both bags of cole slaw mix in 1 T. olive oil until it’s wilted to about half its size (about ten minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add 1 ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in the process of stirring.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, cook the ground beef and onion with 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and ½ T. minced garlic until browned; then drain beef.  

Add thyme, paprika, and oregano and cook until fragrant (about a minute).  Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  

Add 2 cups cooked brown rice and stir to combine.  

Spray a 9×13 in. casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer ingredients starting with half the coleslaw cabbage, then half the meat/tomato/rice mixture, and one cup cheese.  Repeat with the last half of cabbage, then meat/tomato/rice mixture but reserve the 2 cups of remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 or until hot and bubbly. Spread the top evenly with the remaining 2 cups of cheese.  Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle each serving with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.:  This makes 8 servings at 7 Freestyle points per serving.

Chipotle Chicken Wontons

I worked at El Chico the summer after college, and I have quite a few stories I could tell you about working there. The manager let me off work on short-notice the night my first nephew Hayden was born, so I’ll always appreciate that.

A less enjoyable day: when the walk-in floor was slick — and I bit it while holding a 5 gallon bucket of salsa when my feet slipped out from under me. The salsa vat went directly up into the air above my head and landed just next to me (not on my head or I would have officially felt like a Loony Tunes character). What didn’t land next to me was all the salsa. After it coated the ceiling and a good 5 meter radius in the kitchen, the biggest portion of it splashed directly on my head and all over my body. You will never know the speed with which you can undress until you’ve driven home before your evening shift (luckily I happened to be finishing my lunch shift) completely coated in salsa. I have a high tolerance for spicy food…when I’m eating it. Apparently it’s quite different when you’re wearing it, in case you were considering this as some strange form of bath-time aromatherapy. Don’t.

That’s all the wisdom I have to share today. 😉 Also maybe some more practical advice: make sure your shoes are grippier than mine were if you ever find yourself working in a restaurant!

Anywho, one thing I did love about working there was the free meal during my break on each shift. My favorite was a chipotle chicken breast – it was smothered in a chipotle pepper sauce, and I absolutely loved it. This was the first time I had tried anything chipotle flavored – this was ages before “chipotle” was being mispronounced by 60% of people in a zillion fast food restaurants. To this day, I crave that dish.

I tried out this chipotle chicken mixture at home as a quick dish on its own, and we really loved it all by itself with some sides. But when I decided to try it in wontons…that’s when it became a super fun and delicious recipe! And it makes these little beauties a handy appetizer too if you have a different entrée in mind. ~Robin



10 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed into bite sized pieces

2 oz. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I use La Costena; there is a little heat to these, so you might cut back to 1 oz. if you’re not sure about the heat)

¾ c. canned black beans, rinsed

1 c. white onion, diced

½ tsp. garlic salt

5 oz. egg roll wraps (12 wraps, trimmed down as instructed below to about half of their original size by cutting across the corners; I use Twin Dragon)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ c. green onions, chopped (optional, though I think something colorful on top is pretty essential)

¼ c. cilantro, minced (optional)

2 medium jalapeños, sliced (optional)

1 or 2 T. fresh squeezed lime juice (I just squeeze directly from the lime so amount is approximate), optional for serving


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Rinse black beans and set aside.

Measure 2 oz. of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; chop well and add to a medium mixing bowl, sauce included. Mince garlic (you can also use jarred minced garlic) and add to bowl. Chop white onion and add it to this bowl as well. Chop chicken breast into bite sized pieces and add to the mixing bowl. Add garlic salt. Stir all together; then set aside.

With a clean knife, chop green onion; set aside. Mince cilantro if desired; set aside. Slice jalapeños if desired; set aside.

Trim egg roll wrappers (what I’ll call wontons from here on) down to about half their size, cutting across the corners with kitchen shears as shown in the video below. (I’m working on my video editing skills so, yes, you can hear my husband say “go” as it starts–oops! I think he just needs to work on his videography skills — who says “go” after they start recording?!)

Very lightly spray a muffin tin (12 cups) with cooking spray, and place trimmed wontons in cups. You may need to press some folded portions against the wall of the muffin tin so that there will be room for filling later (do not adding filling yet or you’ll have soggy wontons). Cook wontons until crisp as shown in this below video (8 ½ -10 minutes). (Before testing wontons to see if cooked enough, make sure you’ve given them a few minutes so they are cool enough to touch.)

The bottoms of each wonton should make a clicking sound when you tap it with your fingernail, and there should be no flexibility in the wonton. If it will bend when the sides are squeezed, it isn’t quite done. Keep an eye on wontons and cover with foil if edges begin to brown too much.

While the wontons are cooking, on medium heat, cook chicken mixture in a nonstick skillet until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. You do not need additional oil; the chipotle peppers provide just enough to cook the mixture. When the chicken is nearly cooked, add the black beans and gently stir them into this mixture in your pan. Remove from heat when chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F in the middle of the largest pieces).

If you follow the recipe by prepping your parts of the recipe ahead of time as it’s noted here, the wontons and chicken should be done at about the same time, and your food won’t get cold.

Add the hot chicken mixture to the wontons in the muffin tins as soon as they’re ready (chicken will likely be ready a minute or two before the wontons but not long enough to get cold), topping with green onions, as well as the cilantro and jalapeños if desired.

I squeeze fresh lime juice onto mine when serving, though they’re great without this too if you’re not a big fan of lime – or just want to savor that awesome chipotle flavor.

Weight Watchers Info.: Each filled wonton is precisely 1 Freestyle SmartPoint each, so it’s easy to make a meal out of these tasty treats. And all the garnishes are free, so play with those — or not — to your heart’s desire! (Note: Be sure to trim wontons to about half the size — that’s not only for looks; it also really reduces the points.)

Easy One-Pot Tortilla Soup

I try really hard (well, most of the time) not to let the weekends get the best of my eating habits.  Sometimes though, I need to feel like I’m eating an indulgent food that I’d order at a restaurant on a Saturday night out with friends. That is, if I don’t get the enchiladas, but that’s something for a different post.  I hope you and yours love this tortilla soup as much as I do….it’s so good, and doesn’t wreck your entire diet!  Only 1 WW Freestyle Point per cup!  ~Tracy



½ T. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

½ c. red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

½ c. green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

2 cans (4.5 oz.) chopped and peeled green chilies

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1/2 tsp. salt

3 c. chopped white meat chicken (I use shredded rotisserie chicken breast)

32 oz. fat free chicken broth

2/3 c. mild red enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso)

½ c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 limes, quartered

4 avocados, peeled and chopped (optional but highly recommended)

tortilla strips (optional)


In large (3 quart) stock pot, sauté onion, peppers, chiles, and garlic until the onion begins to become translucent.  Add cumin, cayenne, and salt and stir to blend.  Stir in chicken, enchilada sauce, and broth.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  

Right before serving, stir a small amount of hot broth from the soup into the Greek yogurt to temper yogurt.  Stir yogurt mixture into soup.  

Serve each bowl topped with ¼ of an avocado, peeled and chopped into small chunks.  Squeeze a lime wedge over the top of soup / avocado and serve.  If desired, top with crunchy tortilla strips (don’t forget to include the avocado and tortilla strips in your WW points if you add those).

Weight Watchers Info.:  Makes 8, 1 cup servings.  Each cup is 1 Weight Watchers SmartPoint on the Freestyle program, not including optional garnishes. 


Thai Chicken Pizza

My family loves pizza. What’s not to love?  But I get tired of the same, run-of-the-mill basics.  They are good, but come on.   I’ve got to have some variety, y’all!

When I was going to college, there was a little, local restaurant in Stillwater called the Thai Cafe, which I loved.  I miss it!  Now, I have to travel quite a ways to get Thai food.  So I came up with this jazzed up, easy to make, tasty pizza, combining some of my favorite flavors.

It is our new favorite!   ~Kathy



1 pizza crust (your favorite recipe or refrigerated — I used Pillsbury thin crust refrigerated dough; points figured with this dough selection)

3 to 4 T. Chili Garlic Sauce*

1 heaping c. chicken breast, cooked and sliced thin**

1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin, seeds removed

1 small zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick

Red onion, sliced thin (about 2 slices)

1 ½ c. shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella cheese

½ c. shredded mild cheddar cheese (reduced fat, if following WW)

2 T. cilantro (for optional garnish)


On a lightly greased baking sheet, roll pizza crust out into a rectangle, about 10 x 14 inches.

Spread sauce over crust, very thinly.

Spread remaining ingredients over pizza as desired, ending with cheeses.

Bake according to crust directions, until golden brown, cooked through and cheese is melted.

Garnish by sprinkling with cilantro once it’s cooled a little (optional).



*Chili garlic sauce is found in the Asian food section (see photo).  It is full of flavor and some heat.  Use 3 Tablespoons if you like it mild/warm.   If you want it warmer, use up to 4 Tablespoons.  It doesn’t look like much on the crust, but it gives plenty of flavor!

**I used chicken breasts boiled with some onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Once drained and cooled, slice thin.   Rotisserie chicken breast would also be a good substitute.

Weight Watchers Info:  This makes 6 servings, 8 Freestyle SmartPoints per serving.

Pizza Pot Pies

I very rarely sit down and watch a TV show.  About the only time I watch a show, in its entirety, is when I’m on the treadmill.  My favorite channel?  Food Network.  I am aware that it’s odd to watch cooking shows while exercising but I love them.  Not long ago, I watching a show where chefs recall their favorite dishes they’ve ever eaten.  This particular episode featured a restaurant that served pizza pot pies.  Ooey, gooey cheese, meat, and veggies, all covered with a warm crust… I knew I had to recreate it for myself.

These pizza pot pies are a fun variation on regular pizza.  There’s just something about getting your own little dish to yourself that you can turn upside down.  Seeing the melty cheese stretch as the filling piles high on top of the soft crust is about as much fun as dinner gets. YUMMY!  ͂ Erin

20180204_190904 (1)


1 c. self-rising flour

1 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt

½ lb. mild turkey breakfast sausage, browned & drained

1 medium bell peppers, diced

½ medium onion, diced

4 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, diced

2 oz. turkey pepperoni, chopped

2 oz. fully cooked Canadian bacon, chopped

1 1/3 c. low-moisture part-skim mozzarella, divided

2 cloves minced garlic

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. oregano

½ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. sugar

Non-stick cooking spray

1 egg, beaten

Italian seasoning, optional


To make the crust, mix the Greek yogurt and the self-rising flour in the bowl of your stand mixer for a couple minutes on low until well mixed.  I used my paddle attachment.  You can also mix it by hand.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface (flour your hands too) and knead it a few times.  Set aside while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Spray 4 6-ounce ramekins inside and out and place them on a sheet pan.  (If you don’t have ramekins, see note below.)  Fill each ramekin with 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese.  Set aside.

Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray; sauté veggies over medium heat until crisp-tender.

Add cooked sausage, chopped pepperoni, chopped Canadian bacon, minced garlic, tomato sauce, garlic salt, basil, onion powder, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and sugar.  Simmer on low about 5 minutes.

Disperse meat filling evenly on top of cheese in the ramekins.

Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and pat into discs.

Top each ramekin with a piece of dough, stretching over the sides a bit.

Brush the dough with egg and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, if desired.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Using an oven mitt, turn out on your plate for serving. Careful, it might be slippery!

*This can easily be made in an 8×8 casserole dish, layered in opposite order:  crust on the bottom, filling, then cheese on top.


Weight Watchers info:  Each serving (one full ramekin) is 10 SmartPoints.  Makes 4 servings.

Without the dough, each serving is 7 SmartPoints.  I wanted you to have this information in case you want to substitute a pre-packaged refrigerated pizza dough.  I understand that sometimes we don’t all have time to mix up our own pizza dough!

Life Changing Chicken and Dumplings

I don’t know about y’all, but when I’m trying to eat healthier, it’s the comfort foods that I really crave. What is it about trying to eat well, that makes us crave all of the things that are so bad for us?  One of my favorite comfort foods is chicken and dumplings.  Tonight, I decided to try the current two-ingredient dough craze that’s gone viral in the Weight Watchers world to see if I can make a chicken and dumpling recipe that would satisfy my craving without crashing my diet.  I’m here to tell you folks, that this recipe is light done right.  Try this recipe and think of your grandma in her kitchen as you’re cooking!  ~Tracy



½ c. yellow onion, finely chopped

5 c. fat free chicken broth

3 c. cooked white meat chicken (I like to use shredded chicken breasts from rotisserie chickens)

1 ½ c. self-rising flour

1 ½ c. plain, non-fat Greek yogurt

1 t. kosher salt


In a large soup pot (approx. 3 qt.), sauté the onions in 3 or 4 T. of your chicken broth, just until the onion begins to become translucent.   Add in the remaining chicken broth and cooked chicken.  Bring to a heavy simmer (no need for a full boil, you want the mixture to be lightly bubbling).

While the chicken and broth are heating, mix together the flour, salt, and yogurt until they form a sticky dough.

Once the chicken broth is simmering heavily, spray two small spoons with cooking spray.  Drop dumplings by spoonfuls into the simmering broth mixture until all of the dough is used.

Allow dumplings to cook in the broth for approximately 5 minutes.  Remove a large dumpling and cut open to test doneness.  When the middle of the larger dumplings appear cooked through, remove the pot from heat.    Allow the pot to sit for approximately 5 minutes before serving so that all dumplings finish cooking within the hot broth.

Weight Watchers info.:  Makes approximately 8, 1 cup servings at 2 Weight Watchers Freestyle points each.


10 Recipes for the Big Game that Won’t Keep You Sidelined


It’s almost time for the big game! If you are anything like us, you most look forward to socializing with good friends and enjoying some delicious game-day food! Honestly, I usually don’t even know what teams are playing until the game starts. However, I have the menu planned days, or sometimes weeks, in advance.

This year, to make things easier for everyone, we’ve compiled some of our favorite football watch-party foods, categorized for your convenience! Some are on the healthy side (and include Weight Watchers points) and some are a bit more indulgent. Most of these can be made in advance and warmed in the crockpot or finished in the oven right before game time, so there’s no need to miss any of the game (or commercials) because you’re stuck in the kitchen. Hope you find a few good ones here and, as always, please share with us what you make! We love to hear from you on social media! ~Erin


Kick Off :

Pizza Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Two Point Conversions:

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Chili (2 WW SmartPoints)

Hearty Beef Chili (2 WW SmartPoints)

Half Time Show:

Chili Dog Bake (9 WW SmartPoints)

Italian Beef Sandwiches (5 WW SmartPoints)

Bacon Burger Meatballs (4 WW SmartPoints each)

Make Ahead Meatballs (2 WW SmartPoints each)

End Zone:


No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (A.K.A. Homemade Reese’s)