Tomato Basil Chickpea Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

During this time at home, I have gotten really good at using up things from my pantry. In this week’s adventures, I realized I literally only had chickpeas, a pint of cherry tomatoes, lemons, and pantry staples / spice rack items (and my newly planted fresh herbs). After Googling for some ideas, I found some similar recipes to this one, which I tweaked to make my own. It turned out SO GOOD! This would be the perfect summer barbecue side or appetizer served with small pita triangles.

Ingredients

2 15-oz. cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters

1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder (add more to taste if you’d like)

4 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving to let the flavors set in.
  2. Serve as a side salad or with pita bread!
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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.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

So I’m having a crisis. It is October, BUT, it’s still 80 degrees outside! Therefore, we can have our juicy chilled watermelon salad at the same time as our soups, chilis, and chowders. This bright, fresh watermelon feta mint salad is the perfect side dish or appetizer. It is so easy, but so satisfying!

Ingredients

12 cups cubed watermelon (1/2 inch-1 inch cubes), chilled

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

1 cup mint leaves, chopped

3 limes, juiced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl.
  2. Garnish with additional feta and mint.
  3. Serve chilled as an appetizer or side dish!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 3 points per serving (12 servings total). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy for your recipe binder!

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

10-Minute Air Fryer Cheeseburgers

I’ve been hearing about how juicy and delicious air fryer hamburgers/cheeseburgers are, but I never imagined just how easy they would be. Seriously! Top 5 easiest things I’ve ever made. And you don’t have to babysit it like you would on stovetop.

Ingredients

2 hamburger patties (I get mine from the butcher section of my grocery store)

Olive oil spray

Cheese of your choice (I use pepperjack)

2 brioche buns

Toppings of choice!

Directions

  1. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with olive oil.
  2. Season hamburger patties with salt and pepper. Place in the air fryer basket.
  3. Cook at 360 degrees F for 8-12 minutes, depending on how well done you like your burgers (I did 10). Flip half way through cooking time.
  4. After cooking time is up, open the basket and add cheese to each burger. Place it back in the air fryer and cook for an additional minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  5. Toast your brioche buns and serve it up!
This is my first flip half way through cooking time!
Look how juicy the finished burgers are! Delicious!
Melt that cheese on top!
Perfect!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 17 points per cheeseburger (with pepperjack cheese). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy for your recipe binder!

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

Summer Corn and Black Bean Salad

One of my favorite summer activities is attending a great summertime barbecue. The grill, the sun, the sides…it all makes for the perfect day. Here is one of my all time favorite barbecue recipes, and the best part about it is…dump and go! No cooking required. This summer corn and black bean salsa is the perfect side dish or dip to bring along with you!

Ingredients

2 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans corn, rinsed and drained

1 small container of grape tomatoes (or tomatoes of your choice), diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 avocado, cubed

3 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup cilantro (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, and avocado in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
  2. Add in olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Toss to coat. Add more salt to taste if needed.
  3. Serve as a side dish, as an appetizer dip with tortilla chips, or as a topping for grilled chicken or burgers!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 2 points per serving (12 servings total). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy of this recipe for your recipe binder!

Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken

One of my go-to Instant Pot meals for meal prepping is this easy shredded salsa chicken. You can put them in rice bowls, flour/corn tortillas, or you can just eat it on its own with all the fixings!

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 jar salsa of choice

1 packet taco seasoning

1 cup water

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, rinsed and drained

Rice / guacamole / sour cream for creating the bowls

Directions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in your Instant Pot. Cover with 1 cup water.
  2. Close the lid of the pot and turn the valve to “Sealing.” Set on manual pressure for 9 minutes. Allow pressure to build and cook time to complete.
  3. Once 9 minutes of cook time is completed, allow for 5 minutes of natural release before flipping the valve to “Venting.”
  4. Remove the chicken and shred. Drain liquid from the pot.
  5. Place shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot and place on “Saute” mode. Add in jar of salsa, taco seasoning, and drained and rinsed corn and beans.
  6. Stir in until flavors are combined and corn softens to your liking.
  7. Serve over rice, salad, tacos, etc! Top with guacamole, sour cream, cheese, etc.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 1 point per serving of chicken. Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app (calculate points for whatever you add separately).

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.

Slow Cooker Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs

Though I am not gluten free, there was a time when I was testing out some gluten free recipes for a friend. This one came out great with the substitution of gluten free breadcrumbs instead of regular or Italian, though I’m sure any way you do it would turn out great! These turkey meatballs are truly a meal prepper’s dream, as they require about 10 minutes of prep time, and then they cook themselves in the slow cooker. I originally got and adapted this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Gina from http://www.skinnytaste.com.

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey breast

1 egg

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup dried parsley

1/4 cup gluten free (or regular if not making GF) breadcrumbs

1 tsp minced garlic

1 28 oz. can tomato sauce

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey breast, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, parsley, grated parmesan, and garlic (get in there with your hands a bit to mix it in!)
  2. Form small meatballs with your hands, about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. Place in one layer in the slow cooker (depending on size, may make between 18-24 small meatballs).
  3. Cover the meatballs with a can of your favorite tomato sauce.
  4. Set the slow cooker to cook on LOW for 4 hours. Stir meatballs carefully about halfway through to avoid over-browning on one side (optional).
  5. After 4 hours, take out the meatballs and serve them alone or with side of your choice!
Everything ready to mix up!
Ready to get sauced.
Try to evenly coat with sauce.
Now, we wait…

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 1 point for one serving of meatballs (about 4 meatballs per serving). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app. **Whatever you serve this with will most likely add more points! For a low point meal option, try serving it with zoodles, zucchini noodles.**

Slow Cooker Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey breast
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup gluten free (or regular if not making GF) breadcrumbs
1 tsp minced garlic
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey breast, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, parsley, grated parmesan, and garlic (get in there with your hands a bit to mix it in!)
2. Form small meatballs with your hands, about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. Place in one layer in the slow cooker (depending on size, may make between 18-24 small meatballs).
3. Cover the meatballs with a can of your favorite tomato sauce.
4. Set the slow cooker to cook on LOW for 4 hours. Stir meatballs carefully about halfway through to avoid over-browning on one side (optional).
5. After 4 hours, take out the meatballs and serve them alone or with side of your choice!

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.

Air Fryer Crispy Seasoned Chickpeas

Though I’m trying to watch what I eat, one habit I can’t seem to stop is snacking after work. Savory, salty treats are difficult to deny for me, and fruits and veggies just never seem to do the trick. Enter chickpeas and the air fryer. This simple treat crisps up on its own using minimal oil in the air fryer. You can also modify the spices to your taste!

Ingredients

1 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried with a paper towel

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste (to add after cooking)

Directions

  1. Heat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Drain and rise the chickpeas. Dry off with a paper towel to get as much water off as possible. Toss in a small bowl with olive oil and spices (not including regular salt/pepper).
  3. Pour the chickpeas into the air fryer basket. Try to shake the basket so the chickpeas create a single layer.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked to your desired level of crispiness. Shake the basket of the air fryer 1-2 times during cooking to shake up the chickpeas.
  5. Remove chickpeas from basket and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Store in an open container.
Before…
Coated and ready to crisp up!
Looking ready…
And done!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 1 point for one serving (about 4 servings total). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Air Fryer Crispy Seasoned Chickpeas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried with a paper towel
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste (to add after cooking)

Directions:

1. Heat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
2. Drain and rise the chickpeas. Dry off with a paper towel to get as much water off as possible. Toss in a small bowl with olive oil and spices (not including regular salt/pepper).
3. Pour the chickpeas into the air fryer basket. Try to shake the basket so the chickpeas create a single layer.
4. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked to your desired level of crispiness. Shake the basket of the air fryer 1-2 times during cooking to shake up the chickpeas.
5. Remove chickpeas from basket and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Store in an open container.

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.

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
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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.