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

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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!

Pizza Dip

Any time I make this dish, I get numerous requests for the recipe.  It is a true crowd pleaser. What could be better? Pizza, but in a dip! Make this and please the folks at your next get together.  ~Kathy



8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ tsp. onion powder

12 – 15 pepperonis, chopped

½ c. pizza sauce

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

2 T. sliced black olives

1 green onion, sliced


Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Spread into a small baking dish. Top with chopped pepperonis, pizza sauce, cheese and black olives.

Bake at 350˚ for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly around the edges. Top with green onions.

Serve with garlic bagel crisps or garlic parmesan pretzel crisps.



Italian Stuffed Shells

This recipe is a hit at our house.  My husband says it’s better than lasagna (one of our favorites)! These are great for dinner at home or would be a crowd pleaser at a pot luck.  Truly, Italian comfort food.  With simple ingredients, you can crank out an impressive dinner for your family. Serve alongside a green salad, and ta-da, dinner is complete!  The mix of cheese….  Come to Mama!   ~Kathy



12 oz. Jumbo pasta shells (make plenty – some will break; you need about 34 for this recipe)

½ lb. 96% lean ground beef

1/3 c. chopped onion

1 c. shredded parmesan cheese (not the powdered type)

1 c. (1% fat) cottage cheese

1 (7.5 oz.) package cream cheese with chive and onion

2 c. low moisture part-skim mozzarella, shredded (reserve ¾ c.)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)

¼ tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp dried parsley

1 (24 oz.) jar reduced fat spaghetti sauce

3 T. water

Optional garnishes:  fresh chopped basil or parsley


In large pot, bring salted water to a boil.   Cook pasta just until al dente (about 10 minutes).  Drain, rinse in cold water and turn open side down on paper towels to dry.

While the noodles are cooking, cook ground beef with onion.  Season with salt and pepper.   Drain grease and set aside.

Combine parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese and 1¼ c. mozzarella.   Stir in eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and parsley.  Stir in ground beef mixture.  Combine well.

In a small bowl, mix together water and ¼ c. spaghetti sauce.   Spread into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.

Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture.  Set into pan open side up.  Continue filling shells until cheese mixture is gone.   Top with remaining sauce.

Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated 375˚ oven for 40 minutes.   Turn oven off, remove foil.  Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Leave in oven for an additional 5 minutes.   Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Top with fresh chopped parsley or basil if desired.


Weight Watchers Info.:  This makes approximately 34 stuffed shells.  A serving of 2 shells is 7 Freestyle points.  A serving of 3 shells is 11 Freestyle points.

Real Deal Macaroni and Cheese


Growing up, macaroni and cheese was oftentimes made from a box.  Our Mom, who is a fabulous cook herself, had four daughters within eight years (can we have a moment of silence thanking the Lord that she maintained her sanity?).  So let’s face it….there had to be some shortcuts made somewhere.  Now that the processed food fad of the 70s and 80s has faded, homemade macaroni and cheese is all the rage.  I mean, you can get it on your burger in some restaurants.  If you are a connoisseur of amazing cheesiness as we are, and ready to take steps away from the box  (oh, please do), this is the recipe you need to try! ~ Tracy

3 c. uncooked elbow macaroni

6 T. butter

6 T. all-purpose flour

3 c. milk

1 ½ t. salt

1 ½ t. sugar

1 lb. cubed Velveeta

2/3 c. sour cream

1 1/3 c. cottage cheese

2 ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 ½ c. shredded Swiss cheese (you can tear up slices if you can’t find shredded Swiss)

15 Ritz Crackers

¼ stick butter, melted

Cook & drain macaroni according to package directions.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  When butter is melted, stir in flour and mix well (the mixture will form a buttery paste).  Add milk and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.  Add salt, sugar, and cubed Velveeta.  Stir until Velveeta is melted.  Remove from heat and immediately add sour cream and cottage cheese, stirring well until blended.

In a large bowl, combine cooked macaroni noodles, cheddar cheese, and Swiss cheese.  Pour the hot creamy mixture over the macaroni and stir well until cheeses are melted and combined.

Pour the entire mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Crush Ritz crackers and pour into a bowl.  Combine crushed crackers with melted butter and stir to coat well.  Sprinkle the crackers over the macaroni.

Bake at 340 for 45 – 50 minutes.  If crackers begin to become too brown, cover the top with a loose piece of aluminum foil and finish baking.

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers


I love stuffed peppers. Stuffing anything in a pepper just automatically makes it better. These Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers are easy, cheesy, and meaty. They are best grilled but great out of the oven too.

͂ Erin



6 oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms

8 oz. thinly sliced roast beef, chopped into small pieces

8 oz. (8 slices) provolone

1 medium onion, diced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. olive oil

2 large bell peppers

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 T. steak seasoning



Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom; remove seeds and veins and place pepper halves in a pan. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions, garlic, and mushrooms until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add roast beef, Worcestershire, and steak seasoning; cook until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the outdoor grill to medium heat or the oven to 400°F.  Line each pepper half with a slice of cheese.  Stuff the peppers with filling and top with another slice of cheese.  If cooking on the grill, place the peppers directly on the rack and cook until the peppers are tender and cheese is melted.  If cooking in the oven, place the pan of peppers on the lower rack and cook about 30 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.

Weight Watchers info.:  Each stuffed pepper half is 10 SmartPoints.  This recipe makes 4 servings.

Italian Tortellini Salad

I invented this on a Sunday night when I felt like something new. I love the Italian chopped salad at McAlister’s Deli, so I was thinking about that as I started, but I like how it ended up even better if I do say so myself. Its distinctive flavors still go together well. It makes a HUGE amount, so I quickly realized I’d need to share and took most of it to work the next day. I was pleased to find I didn’t even have to try to find a spot in the fridge for it again when I went to put it away at the end of lunchtime since it had all vanished – yay!


The best part about this recipe, as I face down a 99 degree afternoon, is that it requires no cooking except quickly boiling the tortellini, and it’s served at a nice chilly temp.  This is filling enough to be your dinner or a hearty side or appetizer.  ~Robin 


Buitoni three-cheese tortellini, 1 20 oz. bag

2 medium cucumbers, chopped

½ red onion, diced or thinly sliced (about a cup, sliced)

2 c. of tiny tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size (I love Sunset’s Wild Wonders Gourmet Medley for their variety of colors, but you can snag any grape or cherry tomato variety as well)  

1 c. sliced Kalamata olives (could use green olives too, but I love Kalamata olives)

About 4 c. of baby spinach (stems removed)

2 c. hard salami, cubed into ½ in. chunks (about 10 oz. by weight)*

2 c. provolone cheese, cubed into ½ in. chunks (about 10 oz. by weight)

1 c. Ott’s creamy Italian dressing

Black pepper, fresh cracked, to taste (optional)


Prepare one package of tortellini according to package instructions, except do not add any olive oil – it would make it harder for the dressing to stick to the pasta later.  Drain very well and set aside to dry further and cool.  

Once pasta is cool enough and well-drained, add all other ingredients except tomatoes, black pepper, dressing, and olives; then mix. Add tomatoes, olives, pepper (if desired), and dressing, gently tossing until mixed well and salad is coated with dressing throughout. Chill & serve.  

*My deli counter sliced the salami and cheese into ½ inch thick slices so I was able to simply chop it into cubes from there…big time saver!  This salami from the deli is SO much better than the lunch meat slices you may have been tortured with by a well-meaning relative as a child. I thought I didn’t like salami all my life, but it turned out I just hadn’t had the right salami.  Give salami a chance! Unless you’re one of our vegetarian friends, in which case you can save a couple bucks instead.  🙂