Southwest Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing

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southwest-sweet-potato-salad

Ingredients:
for the salad-
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp oil
1 heaping tsp cumin
1 heaping tsp chili power
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt/pepper
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of sweet corn, rinsed and drained
2 Romaine hearts, chopped
1 c sweet chili pistachios

for the dressing-
1 avocado
1 single serve cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
2/3 c water
1 c cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt, to taste
2 tbsp lime juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Chop sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Combine oil, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon into large Ziploc bag. Add chopped sweet potato pieces to Ziploc bag. Seal and toss until potatoes are well coated with oil and spices.
3. Turn sweet potatoes out onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper to taste, stir potatoes around on sheet. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.
5. While potatoes finish cooking, pulse avocado, yogurt, water, cilantro, garlic powder, salt (I use just a pinch), and lime juice in blender until smooth.
6. In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, corn, black beans, cooled sweet potatoes, and pistachios. You can add dressing and toss all ingredients until coated evenly, or serve dressing on the side.

This recipe was modified from www.pinchofyum.com

yields about 6 servings

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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pb oatmeal choc chip cookies 2Ingredients:
1 1/4 c All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c multi grain oats (quick oats would work too)
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c butter
1 large egg
1/2 c peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 c chocolate chips

Directions:
pb oatmeal choc chip cookies1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with silicone sheet or parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and oats together into small bowl.
3. In separate bowl, cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter, and mix until combined. Add egg and vanilla, mix until combined.
4. Gradually add in dry ingredients just until combined.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Drop by heaping tablespoonful onto prepared baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and press in the center with a fork to flatten out. Return to oven and bake an additional 2-5 minutes.
7. Allow to cool on pan for at least 5 minutes.

Yields about 25 cookies, serving size 1 cookie
*I used a medium size cookie scoop. The number of cookies will vary depending on how big you make them. My cookies were fairly large.

Veggie Pizza

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veggie pizzaIngredients:

**Crescent roll dough (I make a double batch of homemade crescent roll dough)
12 oz. 1/3 less fat original cream cheese
1 packet ranch seasoning packet
1 c broccoli florets, chopped
1 c cauliflower, chopped
1/2 c carrots, chopped
1 1/2 c Colby Jack cheese, shredded
 
**I use a homemade crescent roll dough, but you can definitely use premade, store-bought dough.

Directions:

veggie pizza 31. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Roll out crescent dough so it covers a 12×16″ ungreased pan. Cook dough for 10-13 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Cool crust completely (about an hour).
4. In a small dish, combine cream cheese and ranch packet. When crust is completely cool, spread cream cheese mixture onto crescent crust.
5. Sprinkle cheese on top of cream cheese mixture. Top with chopped vegetables.
6. Cut into 16 equal squares.
 
 
Yields 16 servings, serving size 1 piece

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

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final granola barsIngredients:

2 1/2 c multigrain oats (quick oats would work also)
1/2 c raw, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 c flaxseed meal
1 c mini chocolate chips
1/2 c honey
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/8 c (2 tbsp.) packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large egg whites

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Roughly chop almonds.
granola almonds
 
2. Spread oats and almonds on an unlined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, stirring half way through. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
oats&almonds
 
3. Line a 13×9 baking dish with a silicone baking mat. It is helpful if the mat is slightly larger than the baking dish and comes up on the sides. Set aside.
 
4. Once oat/almonds are cool, transfer to large bowl and add flaxseed meal and chocolate chips. Stir together.
oats&chocchips
 
5. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and egg whites.
 
6. Pour honey mixture over oat/almond mixture in large bowl. Stir until oats are well coated.
pouring syrup
7. Press granola with rubber spatula into prepared baking dish. Be sure to firmly and evenly press granola down.
press granola in pan
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
 
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 2 hours.
 
10. Using the sides of the silicone mat, carefully pull up and pull the granola out of the baking dish. Cut granola into 16 equal bars. Store in an air tight container.
 cooked bars
Yields 16 servings, serving size 1 granola bar

Whole Wheat Mozzarella Sticks

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mozzarella sticksIngredients:

12 reduced fat (2%) mozzarella sticks
1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Panko
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c Whole Wheat flour
5 egg whites
1/4 c Marinara sauce

Directions:

mozzarella sticsk 21. Preheat oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Remove cheese sticks from wrappers. Cut each stick in half. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. 
photo 3 (74)3. While cheese sticks are freezing, set up dredging station with three shallow bowls. In the first bowl, add flour. In the second bowl, add egg whites and whisk lightly. 
4. In the third bowl, combine Panko, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
5. Remove cheese sticks from freezer. Working quickly, add about 5 cheese pieces to the flour, coating each stick completely. Move flour coated sticks to the egg whites, and coat completely. Then move egg/flour coated sticks to the Panko, coating completely. Place sticks on a clean plate. Repeat process with remaining cheese pieces. 
6. Once all cheese has gone through dredging once, discard the remaining flour. At this point, I like to take them through a second dredging for a nice, thick breading. To do this, dip each coated cheese piece in egg whites and then in Panko for a second time. Repeat this process with all remaining cheese pieces. 
7. Once cheese has gone through a second dredging, place each stick on the prepared baking sheet. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. 
 
Yields 12 servings, serving size 2 pieces

Cajun Chicken Rub

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cajun chickenIngredients:

1 tbsp cajun seasoning

1 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients into a small bowl with lid. Place lid on bowl. Shake until all ingredients are well mixed.

2. Generously rub on cleaned, raw chicken. Cook as desired (I prefer using this with chicken cooked on the grill)

*Will cover 4 large chicken breasts

Strawberry-Banana Oat Muffins

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strawberry banana oat muffinsIngredients:

2/3 c multi-grain oatmeal
1/4 c nonfat strawberry Greek yogurt
1/4 c skim milk
1 tsp strawberry extract
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 large, ripe banana, mashed
2 1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 c dried strawberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 410°. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. NOTE: This recipe will make 8-11 muffins. If you like large muffins, spray 8 cups. If you prefer smaller muffins, spray for 11. 
2. In a small bowl, combine oats and yogurt. Mix until oats are well covered by yogurt. Pour milk over oats. Leave soak for about 10 minutes. 
3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently mix until well combined. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, or in the bowl to your stand mixer, add banana, egg, and oil. Mix to combine.
5. Add oat & milk mixture to banana mixture. Add strawberry extract. Stir until just combined. Add in dry ingredients. Stir at low speed until just combined. Do not over mix! 
6. Fold in dried strawberries. Scoop mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until tooth pick inserted into center comes out clean. 
 
Yields 8 large muffins or 11 small muffins, serving size 1 muffin
If 8 muffins are made: 4 points per serving on Weight Watchers points+ System
If 11 muffins are made: 3 points per serving on Weight Watchers points+ System
 
I am in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers.

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