Chicken, Spinach, and Cheese Meatballs

I’ve been trying out a lot of new recipes from one of my favorite food blogs, Once Upon a Chef, and this was my take on her Turkey, Spinach, and Cheese meatballs. These cheesy, light meatballs pack the punch of a traditional meatball with a little extra flavor due to the added cheese.

Ingredients

1 lb ground chicken breast

1 package sweet Italian chicken sausage, removed from the casings

1 yellow onion, finely diced

3 oz. chopped fresh and frozen spinach (squeeze the water out if frozen)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs

Olive oil spray, for the baking sheet

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

28 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 tbsp Italian seasoning (for the sauce)

Directions:

  1. Combine the spinach, onions, garlic, and egg in a large bowl
  2. Add in the ground chicken breast and ground chicken sausage, removed from the casings
  3. Mix in the seasoned breadcrumbs, parmesan, and mozzarella until well combined. Use your hands but be careful not to overwork the meat!
  4. Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil and roll 1-2 inch meatballs using your hands (my batch made about 20 large meatballs). Space them evenly on the baking sheet.
  5. Place under the broiler for 10-12 minutes, until the tops get a little golden and crispy looking.
  6. On the stovetop, heat up the tomato sauce seasoned with Italian seasoning. Add in the broiled meatballs and cover the tops with the sauce. Simmer on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes until fully cooked through.
  7. Serve over pasta or with a side of veggies!
Mix up the egg, spinach, onion, and garlic
Combine the meats and cheeses until well combined
Before broiling…
After broiling…notice those beautiful crispy tops!
Simma simma…
And enjoy!

Trader Joe’s Mexican Style Roasted Corn Turkey Burrito Bowls

Something I have come to really love in quarantine is creating meals from what I already have in my freezer. I kind of feel like I’m on an episode of Chopped in my own kitchen. I found this bag of Mexican Style Roasted with Cotija Cheese in my freezer and created this with what i had on hand. It was a huge hit, and it took less than 30 minutes to make!

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey breast

6 flour tortillas

1 package Trader Joe’s Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese

1 packet taco seasoning

1 medium yellow onion

1 tbsp olive oil

Oil spray (olive oil or canola oil)

1 package ready brown rice

Guacamole or other toppings of choice (optional)

Plus onion and flour tortillas!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. On the bottom part of a muffin tin, spray with canola or olive oil, then place flour tortillas in the crevices to make mini bowls. Spray tortillas with oil.
  3. Place in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until tortillas are firm and crisped.
  4. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and heat the Trader Joe’s Mexican Style Roasted Corn according to package directions.
  5. In a separate skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, Then add diced onion until translucent.
  6. Add in ground turkey breast and fully brown the meat.
  7. Once fully browned, add in 1 cup of water and taco seasoning. Mix with turkey until fully combined.
  8. Cook rice (I use microwaveable rice, so cook according to package directions).
  9. Once all components are finished cooking, take out the taco shells, place in a layer of rice, a layer of ground turkey, a layer of the Mexican Style Roasted Corn mixture, some guacamole, and cotija cheese (that comes with the Trader Joe’s package).
  10. Serve and enjoy!
Spray with canola oil and bake for 18-20 minutes.
One of my favorite Trader Joe’s treats!
Brown the turkey and onions before adding the seasoning!
Tortillas nice and crispy!
Layer the rice, ground turkey, Mexican style roasted corn, guacamole, and cotija cheese. Serve and enjoy!!

Maple Glazed Brussel Sprout and Goat Cheese Flatbread with Balsamic Drizzle

I recently bought pizza dough with no plans on how I was going to use it. With some research and a belly full of regular pizza from the night before, I was inspired to try out this flatbread filled with notes of both savory and sweet goodness.

Ingredients

12 oz. pizza dough (I used Pillsbury)

1 red onion, chopped into thin strips

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1 package shredded brussel sprouts

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp flour

4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tsp herbes de Provence seasoning

4 oz. goat cheese

Balsamic glaze

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

These are the brussel sprouts I used – this size worked perfectly!
Freshly grate your mozzarella cheese for better melty goodness!

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven according to package directions on the dough. Remove pizza dough and roll it out with some flour to prevent sticking. Place the stretched dough on a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet (on parchment paper if you have it!)
  2. While oven is preheating, add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add your red onion and saute for about 5 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add in brussel sprouts and crushed red pepper (if you don’t like a little heat, you can skip this ingredient). Stir until the brussel sprouts begin to soften for about 3 more minutes. Then, add in 1 tbsp of maple syrup and stir to coat the brussel sprout and onion mixture. Cook for another minute and remove the pan from heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Rub the pizza dough with about 1 tbsp of olive oil and a little more salt and pepper. If using Pillsbury, place it in the oven before topping, according to package directions.
  5. When ready for toppings, sprinkle fresh shredded mozzarella on top of the pizza dough. Then top with herbes de Provence and the onion/brussel sprout mixture. Break up some goat cheese and scatter over the top.
  6. Bake the flatbread according to package directions, or until crisped up and cooked to your liking.
  7. Take the flatbread out and let cool for a few minutes. Then, drizzle some balsamic glaze over the top, cut, and serve!
Almost ready to eat — before the balsamic drizzle!
Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator. Calories reflect one serving.

Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs

One dish that I never get sick of is a classic meatball. Now, being on Weight Watchers, I try to find some variations of meatballs that use as many 0 point foods as possible so I can pack as much flavor in without the guilt. These delicious teriyaki chicken meatballs are perfect as an appetizer or as a main dish over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 lb ground chicken breast

3 tbsp fresh minced ginger

3 tsp minced garlic

1/3 cup minced scallions (save additional for garnish)

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

1 egg

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Canola oil spray

Salt to taste

Garlic ginger teriyaki marinade, or other Asian sauce of choice (store bought)

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken breast, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, egg, bread crumbs, and salt. Mix well with your hands or a hand mixer until well combined.
  3. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil.
  4. Form meat into 20-24 small meatballs and place on the baking sheet (If the mixture feels too wet, add some extra breadcrumbs, but this mixture may feel a bit more wet and sticky than a traditional meatball! No worries!).
  5. Baked meatballs for 13-15 minutes, until browned and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Turn meatballs with 5 minutes of cooking time left to avoid burning on the bottoms.
  6. Toss in a bowl with the garlic ginger teriyaki marinade and serve on their own for an appetizer or over rice or cauliflower rice!
Before cooking
Cooked and tossed in sauce

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 1 point per meatball with marinade. Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy for your recipe binder!

50 calories per meatball.
Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator.

Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pies

One of my favorite things about the Instant Pot is the ability to cook something without having to watch it. Once you get it going, it does the work for you! Unfortunately with this recipe, you will need to put the pot pies in the oven to crisp up the crust, but the majority of the work will be done for you by the pressure cooker.

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

4 cups chicken broth

2 chicken bouillon cubes

3 tbsp butter

1 diced yellow onion

2 cups chopped carrots

2 cups cubed yellow potatoes

1 14-oz. package frozen pearl onions

1 10-oz package frozen peas

1/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cups all purpose flour

3 tbsp dried parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 packages Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

1 egg (for egg wash)

Directions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to “saute mode.” Add in butter and allow to melt. Once melted, add in onions. Stir.
  2. Add in cubed chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until browned on the outside (not cooked through yet).
  3. Add in 2 cups of chicken broth, and make sure there are no bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pot. If there are, scrape them up with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add in carrots, potatoes, and frozen pearl onions. Close and lock the lid. Set to “sealing” mode.
  5. Set on high pressure mode for 8 minutes. Allow some time for the pressure to build.
  6. Once time is up, quick release to allow pressure to release.
  7. Depending on how much liquid you have, add in additional chicken broth. Add in frozen peas.
  8. Next, add in heavy cream. Determine the consistency you would like for the pot pie mixture. If serving as a soup, you may not need to thicken it. If serving as a pot pie, add flour until thickened to your liking.
  9. Ladle mixture into individual pot pie bowls on a baking sheet (this recipe makes about 8 servings).
  10. Open the crescent rolls and place two crescents over each pot pie.
  11. Beat 1 egg and mix with 1 tbsp water to create an egg wash.
  12. Brush the egg wash over each pot pie and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley.
  13. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-14 minutes.
Veggie mixture before going in!
Cook the outside of the chicken a bit on saute mode before pressure cooking.
Before cooking!
Enjoy!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 12 points per pot pie. Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy of this recipe for your recipe binder!

Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator.

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

I’m always looking for tasty, healthy, and filling breakfasts, but many things fall short. Granola bars or protein bars are always more Weight Watchers points than I want them to be, and they don’t keep me full. Eggs and nuts are great, but don’t satisfy my morning sweet tooth. That’s why when I made these Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins using Kodiak Cakes Buttermilk Pancake Mix, I was so pleasantly surprised with how delicious they were for only 4 Weight Watchers Freestyle Smartpoints!

Ingredients

2 cups Kodiak Cakes Protein Pancake Power Mix – Buttermilk

2 very ripe bananas

1 egg

1 cup plain almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

(not pictured: salt)

Directions

  1. Measure 2 cups of the Kodiak Cakes Protein Pancake Power Mix – Buttermilk into a large mixing bowl. Add in the salt.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, mash up two overripe bananas. Mix in the egg, almond milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Mix well to combine. (Add a little extra maple syrup for more sweetness).
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine. Fold in chocolate chips, saving some to sprinkle on the top of each muffin.
  4. Grease a muffin tin with butter or nonstick spray. Pour batter in, filling each muffin area 3/4 of the way up. Sprinkle the tops with some chocolate chips.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-26 minutes. Use the toothpick test to make sure muffins are fully cooked through.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes in muffin tin. Then, transfer to a wire cooling rack. Wrap individually to eat the next day!
Before
After!
Delicious and moist!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 4 points for one muffin. Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy of this recipe for your recipe binder!

Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator.

Beef Stuffed Peppers with Cauliflower and Broccoli Rice

I’ve just recently tried stuffed peppers for the first time since I grew up without thinking I liked peppers (I was an incredibly picky eater!). I love how easy they are to assemble and how the peppers don’t only provide a container for the meat, but they provide an edible container. Kind of like a bread bowl…but without the guilt!

Ingredients

3 green bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise

1 lb ground beef, 90% lean, 10% fat

1 yellow onion, diced

Cauliflower & Broccoli rice mixture (I found mine pre-made in my local grocery story, but you can usually find cauliflower rice on its own in the freezer veggie section and just use that!)

1 tsp olive oil

28 oz. tomato sauce

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cheese, to sprinkle on the peppers before cooking

Directions

  1. Set oven to preheat at 400 degrees F.
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute onions until translucent.
  3. Add in ground beef, and cook until fully brown.
  4. Sprinkle in salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika and stir to combine with all meat.
  5. Stir in half of the tomato sauce (about 14 oz.) and heat until just starting to bubble. Add in the cauliflower/broccoli rice and stir to combine. Add in a little more salt and pepper or seasonings, to taste, if desired.
  6. Place the peppers, cut in half lengthwise, into a 9×13 baking dish. Spoon the meat and rice mixture into each pepper carefully.
  7. Pour a little extra sauce on each one. Then, carefully top with about 1 tbsp shredded cheese of your choice (I used a Mexican blend).
  8. Next, take the remaining can of tomato sauce and mix with water until it has a thinner consistency. Carefully pour about 1/2 inch of liquid into the bottom of the baking dish.
  9. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
  10. After time is up, take the dish out and uncover it, allowing the peppers to cool a bit. Serve two at a time!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 3 points for one serving (1 full pepper per serving). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator. Calories reflect one serving of dip only.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

One of my favorite tailgate / pot luck dishes of all time is a warm, creamy buffalo chicken dip. It always looked and tasted so good that I was sure it was probably a complicated process to make it so good. That was until I tried making it. SO easy! And so good. The most difficult part is just waiting for the time it takes to cook before you can dig in!

Ingredients

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese

1 cup ranch dressing

3/4 cup original Frank’s Red Hot sauce

Shredded Mexican cheese

Tortilla chips and celery, for serving

Directions

  1. Set oven to bake at 350 degrees F.
  2. Shred rotisserie chicken into a medium bowl.
  3. Mix with Frank’s Red Hot and ranch dressing until fully coated.
  4. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine hot sauce covered chicken with cream cheese until fully melted and combined (forms a creamy consistency with very little full white spots left!). Stir frequently to combine and avoid burning.
  5. Once fully combined, turn the stovetop off and transfer the mixture to a oven safe casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with a layer of shredded cheese.
  6. Heat in oven until cheese is melted to your liking (about 8-10 minutes).
  7. Remove from the oven and serve!
Dip should look like this on the stovetop before transferring to the oven!
Out of the oven! Love that cheesy top. Broil for a minute if you want the cheese to brown even more!
Dig in!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 11 points for one serving (about 12 servings total). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1 cup ranch dressing
3/4 cup original Frank’s Red Hot sauce
Shredded Mexican cheese
Tortilla chips and celery, for serving

Directions:

1. Set oven to bake at 350 degrees F.
2. Shred rotisserie chicken into a medium bowl.
3. Mix with Frank’s Red Hot and ranch dressing until fully coated.
4. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine hot sauce covered chicken with cream cheese until fully melted and combined (forms a creamy consistency with very little full white spots left!). Stir frequently to combine and avoid burning.
5. Once fully combined, turn the stovetop off and transfer the mixture to a oven safe casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with a layer of shredded cheese.
6. Heat in oven until cheese is melted to your liking (about 8-10 minutes).
7. Remove from the oven and serve with chips and veggies!

Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator. Calories reflect one serving of dip only.

2 Ingredient Bagels – Two Ways!

Since starting to track my food and points with the Weight Watchers app, I noticed what a difference eating bread made in my daily points intake. Now, there are two solutions to this problem. 1. Stop eating bread (which didn’t seem like a viable option to me) or 2. Find a great alternative.

Enter the 2 ingredient (and 3 WW points!) bagel. When looking for a recipe, I noticed a lot of variations with boiling / not boiling, baking/ air frying, etc. So, I decided to give them all a whirl! This was my first try at making this dough, and while I know next time I’ll tweak a few things, I definitely found an easy favorite!

Ingredients

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup Greek yogurt OR plain nonfat regular yogurt (also 0 points) – I used Stonyfield – the less watery the better!

1 egg (for egg wash)

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning

Amazing – this is literally all you will need to make this dough! Again, most recipes call for Greek yogurt, but since I had this on hand, I figured I would give it a try. And it worked!

Directions

  1. Mix together the self-rising flour and the yogurt. Stir it with a spoon for about 4-5 minutes until well combined and not so sticky. If it feels sticky, just add a little more flour to handle it!
  2. Form it into a ball and cut it into 4 equal parts.
  3. Roll each ball into a small log and form into bagel circles (should make 4).
  4. Create an egg wash (take one egg, whisk it and mix it with a small amount of water –this will create a nicely browned bagel).
  5. For oven:
    • Preheat to 375 degrees F.
    • Brush egg wash on bagels.
    • Pour Everything But the Bagel Seasoning on (or leave plain)
    • Baked for 20-22 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through. Turn baking sheet halfway so bagels cook evenly.
    • Broiling a little at the end adds an even nicer crispy top!
  6. For air fryer:
    1. Set temperature to 360 degrees F.
    2. Brush egg wash on bagels.
    3. Pour Everything But the Bagel Seasoning on (or leave plain)
    4. Air fry for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy!

NOTE: I tried boiling the bagels before baking / air frying, and it required a lot more cooking time and not as good of a texture / flavor, so in my opinion, not worth it!

The two that were not boiled turned out the best in the shortest amount of time. The ones that required boiling needed a little more time and effort. Didn’t find it to be worth it in the end!
This is the baked final product. So tasty! See below for the dough cut in half.
Inside of the baked bagel.
Air fried bagel — our favorite variation!! (not boiled before)
A bit fluffier on the inside than the baked counterpart. If you have an air fryer, these are the way to go! If not, the baked are almost as good.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 3 points for one serving (about 4 servings total). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Two Ingredient Bagels

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup Greek or plain nonfat yogurt (not a watery brand, like Stonyfield)
1 egg (for egg wash)
Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Directions:

1. Mix together the self-rising flour and the yogurt. Stir it with a spoon for about 4-5 minutes until well combined and not so sticky. If it feels sticky, just add a little more flour to handle it!

2. Form it into a ball and cut it into 4 equal parts.
Roll each ball into a small log and form into bagel circles (should make 4).

3. Create an egg wash (take one egg, whisk it and mix it with a small amount of water –this will create a nicely browned bagel).

For oven:
-Preheat to 375 degrees F.
-Brush egg wash on bagels.
-Pour Everything But the Bagel Seasoning on (or leave plain)
-Baked for 20-22 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through. -Turn baking sheet halfway so bagels cook evenly.
-Broiling a little at the end adds an even nicer crispy top!

For air fryer:
-Set temperature to 360 degrees F.
-Brush egg wash on bagels.
-Pour Everything But the Bagel Seasoning on (or leave plain)
-Air fry for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy!

Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator.

Tate’s™ Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies

One staple in my parents’ pantry in the last few years has been Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Whenever I am over there, it take a lot of self control not to snack on a whole bag for dessert. The crispy, thin, buttery tasting cookie is unlike any other I’ve had before.

So I figured I would see how I could replicate it! After a little research, here’s the best I found, and they came out pretty spot on!

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp water

1 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

I ate an unsafe amount of cookie dough before baking…

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Grease 2-3 cookie sheets, depending on size. This recipe makes about 4.5 dozen cookies, so plan accordingly!

3.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.

4.  In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars, then add the water and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Add eggs and mix lightly.

5.  Stir in flour mixture.  Then, fold in chocolate chips.

6.  Drop 2 tbsp of dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

7.  Bake from 12-17 minutes or until the edges and centers are golden brown.

Perfectly crispy goodness!

Tate's Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 4.5 dozen cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Grease 2-3 cookie sheets

3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt

4. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars, then add the water and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add eggs and mix lightly.

5. Stir in flour mixture. Then, fold in chocolate chips.

6. Drop 2 tbsp of dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

7. Bake from 12-17 minutes or until the edges and centers are golden brown.

Makes about 4.5 dozen cookies (my batch made 57).

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 4 points for one cookie (this recipe makes about 4.5 dozen cookies). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator.