Air Fryer Simple Adobo Chicken Thighs

Growing up, the only way we had chicken was either rotisserie or grilled chicken breasts. I recently discovered the juicy, flavorful goodness that are chicken thighs, and there’s no going back! I’ve tried to figure out the best and easiest way to cook these babies, and I think I discovered it! With just a little oil and adobo seasoning, they come out perfect in the air fryer!

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 tsp olive oil (I used spray)

2 tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning

Directions:

  1. Pat your chicken thighs dry with a paper towel.
  2. Spray evenly with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle generously with Goya Adobo seasoning.
  4. Set your air fryer to 160 degrees F.
  5. Place your chicken thighs in the air fryer, making sure they do not touch (you may have to work in batches).
  6. Cook for 22 minutes, flipping thighs over halfway through, until chicken is cooked through (an internal temperature of 165 degrees F).
  7. Slice up and serve on its own, with a side, in a salad, or however you please!
Before…
After!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 6 points per serving. Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy of this recipe for your recipe binder!

Air Fryer Simple Adobo Chicken Thighs

Category: Chicken

Yield: 4

Air Fryer Simple Adobo Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp olive oil (I used spray)
  • 2 tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning

Instructions

  1. Pat your chicken thighs dry with a paper towel.
  2. Spray evenly with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle generously with Goya Adobo seasoning.
  4. Set your air fryer to 160 degrees F.
  5. Place your chicken thighs in the air fryer, making sure they do not touch (you may have to work in batches).
  6. Cook for 22 minutes, flipping thighs over halfway through, until chicken is cooked through (an internal temperature of 165 degrees F).
  7. Slice up and serve on its own, with a side, in a salad, or however you please!
https://aspoonfulofsimple.com/2019/05/21/air-fryer-simple-adobo-chicken-thighs/
Note: Nutrition information may not be exact. Ingredients were estimated and entered using verywellfit.com’s Nutrition Calculator.
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Instant Pot Turkey Chili

One of my favorite things to use my Instant Pot for is chili. The combination of the saute function and the pressure cooking allows for the same great flavors that simmering on a stovetop takes hours to accomplish. Plus, if you follow Weight Watchers, this chili is only 1 Freestyle SmartPoint! So it’s delicious and guilt free.

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

1 chopped yellow onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups regular chicken broth

2 10 oz. cans of Rotel fire roasted diced tomatoes and green chiles

1 15 oz. can black beans

1 15 oz. can kidney beans

1 15 oz. can pinto beans

Shredded cheese and sour cream for topping (optional)

Directions

  1. Push the saute button on your Instant Pot. Heat olive oil and stir in chopped onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  2. Add in ground turkey breast, stirring frequently until all fully browned and broken up. Click the “cancel” button and add in garlic.
  3. Stir in chili powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot (this is important to avoid a “burn” message during pressure cooking!).
  4. This next step is also important to avoid the “burn” notice: Layer the Rotel fire roasted tomatoes and beans on top of the meat mixture and DO NOT STIR IN!!
  5. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to “sealing.” Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. Note: It will take longer than 12 minutes because the pressure needs build first.
  6. Once the cooking time is up, allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes (your pot should read LO:10).
  7. After 10 minutes, do a quick release of the pressure (be careful not to burn yourself, use an oven mitt or dish towel).
  8. Once pressure if fully released and the float valve drops, stir the chili and serve with your favorite toppings!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 1 point per serving with no toppings. Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy of this recipe for your recipe binder!

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: Instant Pot

Cuisine: Chili

Yield: 6

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups regular chicken broth
  • 2 10 oz. cans of Rotel fire roasted diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans
  • Shredded cheese and sour cream for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Push the saute button on your Instant Pot. Heat olive oil and stir in chopped onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  2. Add in ground turkey breast, stirring frequently until all fully browned and broken up. Click the “cancel” button and add in garlic.
  3. Stir in chili powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot (this is important to avoid a “burn” message during pressure cooking!).
  4. This next step is also important to avoid the “burn” notice: Layer the Rotel fire roasted tomatoes and beans on top of the meat mixture and DO NOT STIR IN!!
  5. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to “sealing.” Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. Note: It will take longer than 12 minutes because the pressure needs build first.
  6. Once the cooking time is up, allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes (your pot should read LO:10).
  7. After 10 minutes, do a quick release of the pressure (be careful not to burn yourself, use an oven mitt or dish towel).
  8. Once pressure if fully released and the float valve drops, stir the chili and serve with your favorite toppings!
https://aspoonfulofsimple.com/2019/05/19/instant-pot-turkey-chili/

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!

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: Breakfast

Yield: 12

1 muffin

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

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

Instructions

  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!
https://aspoonfulofsimple.com/2019/05/05/banana-chocolate-chip-protein-muffins/
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.

Beef Stuffed Peppers with Cauliflower and Broccoli Rice

Category: Dinner

Yield: 3

1 full pepper (two halves)

Beef Stuffed Peppers with Cauliflower and Broccoli Rice

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

Instructions

  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!
https://aspoonfulofsimple.com/2019/05/01/beef-stuffed-peppers-with-cauliflower-and-broccoli-rice/
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.

Vegetarian Mexican Taco Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

With this easy combination of corns, beans, shallots, jalapeños, and tomatoes, you can top just about anything and make it taste great. Paired with a homemade avocado yogurt vinaigrette and a crisp tortilla shell served over lettuce, this is the ultimate salad! Large and filling too!

Ingredients

For the topping:

10.5 oz container cherry tomatoes

1 can of black beans

1 can of yellow corn

1 jalapeno, diced

2 shallots, diced

1/2 tbsp canola oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

1/2 avocado

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp sherry vinegar

2 limes

Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

1 head of romaine lettuce

1/2 of remaining avocado, diced for topping

Sprinkle of shredded Mexican cheese

2 flour tortillas

Directions

For the topping:

  1. Heat canola oil in a skillet until it is shimmering. Then, add diced shallots, jalapeño, and corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook for about 4 minutes. Then, drain and rinse can of black beans. Add it to the mixture until heated through, approximately 1 minute.
  3. Take the skillet off the heat and add in tomatoes. Stir. Add a little more salt and pepper, to taste.
Add tomatoes once off the heat!

For the dressing:

  1. Slice avocado in half. Mash up in a bowl.
  2. Add in the juice of two limes (or less, to taste), 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, and 2 tsp sherry vinegar. Whisk until it creates a smooth, creamy consistency. Add in salt and pepper, to taste.

For the salad:

  1. Chop the romaine lettuce.
  2. Toss in the dressing
  3. Spray the tortilla with canola oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F until light and crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Or cook in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  4. Layer the salad with the crispy tortilla on the bottom, then the dressed lettuce, then the tomato, bean, corn mixture. Sprinkle with fresh, diced avocado, Mexican shredded cheese, and a spritz of lime juice.
  5. Enjoy!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 11 points for one serving (about 2 large servings total). 8 points if you ditch the tortilla! Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Print a copy for your recipe binder:

Vegetarian Mexican Taco Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: Salad, Lunch, Dinner

Cuisine: Mexican

Yield: 2

Vegetarian Mexican Taco Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

Ingredients

    For the topping:
  • 10.5 oz container cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of yellow corn
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For the dressing:
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For the salad:
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 of remaining avocado, diced for topping
  • Sprinkle of shredded Mexican cheese
  • 2 flour tortillas

Instructions

    For the topping:
  1. Heat canola oil in a skillet until it is shimmering. Then, add diced shallots, jalapeño, and corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook for about 4 minutes. Then, drain and rinse can of black beans. Add it to the mixture until heated through, approximately 1 minute.
  3. Take the skillet off the heat and add in tomatoes. Stir. Add a little more salt and pepper, to taste.
    For the dressing:
  1. Slice avocado in half. Mash up in a bowl.
  2. Add in the juice of two limes (or less, to taste), 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, and 2 tsp sherry vinegar. Whisk until it creates a smooth, creamy consistency. Add in salt and pepper, to taste.
    For the salad:
  1. Chop the romaine lettuce.
  2. Toss in the dressing
  3. Spray the tortilla with canola oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F until light and crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Or cook in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  4. Layer the salad with the crispy tortilla on the bottom, then the dressed lettuce, then the tomato, bean, corn mixture. Sprinkle with fresh, diced avocado, Mexican shredded cheese, and a spritz of lime juice.
https://aspoonfulofsimple.com/2019/04/25/vegetarian-mexican-taco-salad-with-avocado-vinaigrette/
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.

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
  • Print

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.

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

One of my favorite things to order at Mexican restaurants is chicken tortilla soup. Something about the warmth of the soup, the gooey cheese, the rich rice, the crunchy tortillas, and the soft avocados combine to make an amazing, yet simple dish. I never thought of making this soup until I came across a recipe on my Instant Pot app. With some tweaks, I’ve come across my favorite version of chicken tortilla soup. And since it’s made in the Instant Pot, you can set it and let it do the work!

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3 10 oz. cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 can black beans

1 can yellow corn

1 package Uncle Ben’s (or rice of your choice) Whole Grain Ready Rice

1 avocado

1/2 lime

Shredded Mexican cheese

Tortilla chips of choice, crunched up into small pieces

Directions

  1. In your Instant Pot (I have the 6-Qt Duo Model), open the lid and combine the chicken thighs, Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, chicken broth, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
  2. Close the lid of your instant pot and be sure to set your vent to “Sealing Mode.”
Be sure the valve is towards “sealing” when you want to cook. “Venting” is for when the cooking is over and you want to vent the pot and release the pressure that has built up.

3. Set your Instant Pot to pressure cook on High for 9 minutes.

4. Once the pressure has built (give this time, it takes longer than you’d expect sometimes!), let the soup cook for 9 minutes. Then, after cooking time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release (don’t flip to venting yet) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you may quick release the vent and let the pressure decrease. (My model reads LO: + however many minutes has passed to show the natural release time –example LO:10 for this recipe!)

5. Carefully open the lid and take out chicken thighs with tongs to shred separately. Return back to the soup.

6. Set the Instant Pot to “Saute” mode for 7 minutes. Stir in strained and rinsed canned corn and black beans. Stir well.

7. As corn and black beans are heating in the soup, make the rice in the microwave. Add to the soup and stir.

8. Add in lime juice.

9. Ladle soup into bowls for serving. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of shredded cheese (once this is mixed in it creates melty goodness), avocado, cilantro, and crushed of tortilla chips.

Feel free to omit this for your lactose intolerant friends!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 8 points for one serving (about 6 servings total). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app. **NOTE: These points can be lessened by omitting the rice, cheese, and avocado … even more by using chicken breasts instead of thighs, though the flavor of the thighs is much better in this, in my opinion!**

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 10 oz. cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 can black beans
1 can yellow corn
1 package Uncle Ben’s (or rice of your choice) Whole Grain Ready Rice
1 avocado
1/2 lime
Shredded Mexican cheese
Tortilla chips of choice, crunched up into small pieces

Directions:

1. In your Instant Pot (I have the 6-Qt Duo Model), open the lid and combine the chicken thighs, Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, chicken broth, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir well.

2. Close the lid of your instant pot and be sure to set your vent to “Sealing” mode.

3. Set your Instant Pot to pressure cook on High for 9 minutes.

4. Once the pressure has built (give this time, it takes longer than you’d expect sometimes!), let the soup cook for 9 minutes. Then, after cooking time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release (don’t flip to venting yet) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you may quick release the vent and let the pressure decrease. (My model reads LO: + however many minutes has passed to show the natural release time –example LO:10 for this recipe!)

5. Carefully open the lid and take out chicken thighs with tongs to shred separately. Return back to the soup.

6. Set the Instant Pot to “Saute” mode for 7 minutes. Stir in strained and rinsed canned corn and black beans. Stir well.

7. As corn and black beans are heating in the soup, make the rice in the microwave. Add to the soup and stir.

8. Add in lime juice.

9. Ladle soup into bowls for serving. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of shredded cheese (once this is mixed in it creates melty goodness), avocado, cilantro, and crushed of tortilla chips.

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

Greek Salad with Lemon Grilled Chicken and Roasted Chickpeas

For some reason, whenever I make salads, they just don’t taste as good as they do in restaurants. I’m not someone who typically feels satisfied after sitting down to a meal of lettuce as the main star…that is until I made this salad. Modeled after something I’ve ordered at my local Greek restaurant, this salad takes on the beautiful flavors of olive oil, lemon, oregano, and many other Mediterranean specialties. You’ll never say you can’t make salad again!

This salad is an amazing combination of a few things, so it does take some time and effort to put together (everything’s easy…just a fair amount of prep and planning to make all the pieces work out!). The romaine lettuce is topped with a tomato cucumber combination, roasted chickpeas with green peppers and onions, and marinated lemon grilled chicken. Then it’s topped with a little Greek dressing and tzatziki sauce to create this filling and healthy lunch!

Ingredients

For the chicken and marinade:

-1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts

-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

-2 tbsp lemon juice

-2 cloves minced garlic

-1 tsp dried oregano

-1/2 teaspoon salt

For the roasted chickpeas:

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

-1 green bell pepper, diced

-1/2 red onion, sliced into small pieces (uneven is okay)

-Some leftover marinade from the chicken

For the tomato cucumber salad:

-1 container of grape tomatoes, sliced in half

-4 cups cucumber, diced

-Remaining 1/2 of red onion (from the chickpeas)

-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1/4 cup red wine vinegar

-1 clove garlic, minced

-1 tsp dried oregano

-Salt and pepper, to taste

For the rest of it:

-3 hearts of romaine lettuce

-Store bought Greek vinaigrette (I love Cardini’s)

-Store bought tzatziki sauce

Directions

For the chicken:

  1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Place your thinly sliced chicken breasts into a large Ziplock freeze bag. Pour marinade into the bag and seal. Toss chicken around the marinade to coat evenly. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes -overnight.
  3. After chicken is marinated, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and spray lightly with olive oil. Once grill pan is hot, place chicken in a single layer on the pan. Cook each side about 4-6 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  4. Cut into bite size pieces to serve.

For the roasted chickpeas:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Put some leftover marinade from the chicken in a large bowl (you may just make some fresh marinade for a small batch!).
  3. Pour 2 cans (or 3 –the more the merrier with this!) of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) into a strainer to rinse and drain.
  4. Pour into bowl with marinade.
  5. Chop your green bell peppers into small pieces and add to the chickpeas.
  6. Then, add your chopped red onion.
  7. Toss in marinade to coat.
  8. In a rimmed baking sheet, spread the chickpea mixture into a single layer.
  9. Cook in oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes is up, take out the baking sheet and move around chickpeas to avoid burning on the bottoms.
  10. Place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

For the tomato cucumber salad:

  1. Place chopped grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and the remainder of the red onion into a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together to combine.
  3. Pour this mixture over the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Toss to coat.

Put it all together:

  1. Once all of the parts are completed, chop the hearts of romaine into small pieces of lettuce suitable for a salad.
  2. In a bowl, layer the romaine lettuce, tomato cucumber salad, roasted chickpeas, and grilled chicken.
  3. Top with Greek vinaigrette (I use Cardini’s) and tzatziki sauce!
  4. Enjoy your healthy, delicious meal!
Chicken after being grilled…check out those grill marks!
Chickpeas roasted for a little crunch!
Add a beautiful freshness with this tomato cucumber salad (makes a great side for any dish).
Put it all together for an amazing, restaurant quality salad!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 8 points for one serving (about 6 servings total). This point value INCLUDES the Cardini’s dressing and tzatziki sauce! Deduct three points without those. Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Greek Salad with Lemon Grilled Chicken and Roasted Chickpeas

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the chicken and marinade:
-1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts

-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-2 cloves minced garlic
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon salt

For the roasted chickpeas:
-2 cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
-1 green bell pepper, diced
-1/2 red onion, sliced into small pieces (uneven is okay)
-Some leftover marinade from the chicken

For the tomato cucumber salad:
-1 container of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
-4 cups cucumber, diced
-Remaining 1/2 of red onion (from the chickpeas)
-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tsp dried oregano
-Salt and pepper, to taste

For the tomato cucumber salad:
-1 container of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
-4 cups cucumber, diced
-Remaining 1/2 of red onion (from the chickpeas)
-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tsp dried oregano
-Salt and pepper, to taste

For the rest of it:
-3 hearts of romaine lettuce
-Store bought Greek vinaigrette (I love Cardini’s)
-Store bought tzatziki sauce

Directions:

For the chicken:

1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
2. Place your thinly sliced chicken breasts into a large Ziplock freeze bag. Pour marinade into the bag and seal. Toss chicken around the marinade to coat evenly. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes -overnight.
3. After chicken is marinated, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and spray lightly with olive oil. Once grill pan is hot, place chicken in a single layer on the pan. Cook each side about 4-6 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
4. Cut into bite size pieces to serve.

For the roasted chickpeas:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Put some leftover marinade from the chicken in a large bowl (you may just make some fresh marinade for a small batch!).
3. Pour 2 cans (or 3 –the more the merrier with this!) of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) into a strainer to rinse and drain.
4. Pour into bowl wit marinade.
5. Chop your green bell peppers into small pieces and add to the chickpeas.
6. Then, add your chopped red onion.
7. Toss in marinade to coat.
8. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the chickpea mixture into a single layer.
9. Cook in oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes is up, take out the baking sheet and move around chickpeas to avoid burning on the bottoms.
10. Place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

For the tomato cucumber salad:

1. Place chopped grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and the remainder of the red onion into a medium bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together to combine.
3. Pour this mixture over the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Toss to coat.

Put it all together:

1. Once all of the parts are completed, chop the hearts of romaine into small pieces of lettuce suitable for a salad.
2. In a bowl, layer the romaine lettuce, tomato cucumber salad, roasted chickpeas, and grilled chicken.
3. Top with Greek vinaigrette (I use Cardini’s) and tzatziki sauce!

Enjoy your healthy, delicious meal!

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.


Trader Joe’s Pollo Asado Salsa Verde Bowls

Due to the craziness of moving over the last two weeks, cooking has been tricky. I have limited pots, pans, and counter space because of the myriad of boxes that currently fill my home. One Trader Joe’s trip later, and I’ve been set with simple meals to get me through the week. For this recipe, I combined a few things that required no preparation on my part (which is amazing). So, let’s call this a “semi-homemade meal.” It’s super easy and very delicious! No chopping, marinating, or prepping required!

Ingredients

1 package Trader Joe’s Pollo Asado chicken

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

1 package Uncle Ben’s (or brand of choice) whole grain rice

1/4 cup Herdez Salsa Verde

The BEST salsa verde!

Directions

  1. Get a grill pan heating up over medium heat. Spray lightly with olive oil.
  2. Place the chicken in a single layer on the grill pan. Let it grill on each side for 5 to 7 minutes, until fully cooked through (when reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F).
Check out those beautiful grill marks.

3. As the chicken is cooking, pour 2 tbsp of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Take the cheese packet out of the Trader Joe’s Mexican Corn bag, and dump the frozen corn and sauce blocks into the hot skillet. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until sauce is all melted and covering corn.

4. Once everything is done, heat up the rice (if using the instant rice like I did).

5. Layer your bowl with some rice, corn, diced grilled pollo asado chicken, and cotija cheese. Then pour some Herdez salsa verde over the top and combine flavors together.

That’s it! So easy and so delicious!

Weight Watchers Freestyle SP: 7 points for one serving (about 4 servings total). Points were calculated using the Recipe Builder on the WW app.

Trader Joe's Pollo Asado Salsa Verde Bowls

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 package Trader Joe’s Pollo Asado chicken
1 package Trader Joe’s Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese
1 package Uncle Ben’s (or brand of choice) whole grain rice
1/4 cup Herdez Salsa Verde

Directions:

1. Get a grill pan heating up over medium heat. Spray lightly with olive oil.

2. Place the chicken in a single layer on the grill pan. Let it grill on each side for 5 to 7 minutes, until fully cooked through (when reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F).

3.As the chicken is cooking, pour 2 tbsp of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Take the cheese packet out of the Trader Joe’s Mexican Corn bag, and dump the frozen corn and sauce blocks into the hot skillet. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until sauce is all melted and covering corn.

4. Once everything is done, heat up the rice (if using the instant rice like I did).

5. Layer your bowl with some rice, corn, diced grilled pollo asado chicken, and cotija cheese. Then pour some Herdez salsa verde over the top and combine flavors together.

**See packages for nutritional label and information.**