This is a wonderful chicken pasta dinner I concocted. The balsamic vinegar lends an interesting kick. Olive oil and cayenne pepper adds a smooth/hot flavor. Topped with cheese, you just can't go wrong. Serves 6.

1 16-oz box of pasta (your choice, but I used Penne)
3 chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or more, to your taste!)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced 
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to box instructions, drain and set aside.

Spray a pan with nonstick spray and saute chicken till all the pink is gone. Set aside.

In a pot, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper, parsley and italian seasoning. Heat and add sliced grape tomatoes and onions. Mix well. Cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes till tomatoes are juicy and skins are a bit loose. Add the reserved chicken and mix well. Then add the prepared pasta and toss everything together well.

Spray a casserole with nonstick spray and pour the pasta mix in. Top with the cheeses and pop in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 minutes or so, till cheese is melted and bubbly. Let sit for a few minutes, and sprinkle a little more parsley on top. Serve!

11 points a serving! This is mild, satisfying and filling. Enjoy it!
 
 
This takes only about 20 minutes and my family loves it. My husband loves crab and curry brings out the flavor! Try it, it'll knock your socks off! Can be served hot or cool. Serves 6.

2 pounds Imitation Crab, cubed (if you want to use real crab, yes you can!!)
1 bell pepper, sliced, your choice color
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz pasta of your choice (I used Rigatoni)

For the Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise (I used Fat Free Miracle Whip)
3 tsps curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp parsley

Prepare pasta as directed on the box. Drain and set aside.

Spray a pot with nonstick spray and saute the bell pepper, onion and garlic till tender. Add the Crab and mix together well. Cover and let simmer on medium for about 10 minutes or so.

While the crab is simmering, in a small mixing bow l, mix together the mayonnaise, curry powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and parsley. Blend well.


In a big bowl, mix together the pasta, crab and dressing. Toss together, making sure everything is incorporated. 

Only 7 points a serving! Dig in, and I mean it!
 
 
This is pretty easy and OH SO GOOD, I SWEAR. It is definitely a family favorite. So good it'll make you wanna slap somebody. Serves 4.

4 chicken breasts (or any chicken part you like, really)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
2 tbsp minced onion (fresh or dried)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup red or white wine (any brand, your choice!)

Combine the jalapeno pepper, minced onion, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and wine in a ziploc bag. Slosh it around some to make sure everything gets mixed. Add your chicken and seal, making sure all the air is let out. Slosh the chicken around the mixture, making sure all the chicken is coated in the spices. Put on a dish and stick it in the fridge overnight to marinate.

After marinating, spray a broiling pan with nonstick spray and put it under a preheated broiler. Let broil about 25 minutes, turning chicken pieces halfway through.

Done! Easy and just delicious. 4 points a serving too! PERFECT!

Eat up! 
 
 
Green Beans are just so awesome made this way. Even my second daughter Pecan would eat this, and she absolutely hates green beans. I like it with a little spice to it, but if you don't want it that way, you don't have to! Serves 4.

5 cups green beans, chopped
6 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less, depends on your taste)
1 1/2 cups water

Get a pot and spray it with nonstick spray. Heat and add your turkey bacon, onion, garlic and saute for a couple minutes till onion is translucent and bacon is a little toasted. Add your red pepper flakes and water. Mix, and bring to a boil. Put heat on medium and let it simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes.

After that, add your green beans and mix well, making sure all the beans are coated. Cover and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes on medium heat. During last 5 minutes of cooking, take the cover off, set heat on high and burn off the excess liquid, leaving just a little in the bottom of the pot. Give it a last stir, and bring to the table.

1 point a serving. AWESOME! Totally great served with your favorite meats or stews!

 
 
Chili sure does fit the bill for filling comfort food. But it doesn't mean it has to be fattening either. Plus it is budget friendly, and that is always a good thing. Serves 6.

1 pound  97/3 ground beef (or 93/7, or even ground turkey!)
3 15 oz cans beans, your choice
2 cans diced tomatoes (or about 6-8 fresh, chopped)
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1 packet chili seasoning
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes, you can use more or less)

Brown your ground beef (or turkey!). Add your onions and garlic to the pan and saute with the meat till onions a bit translucent. Pour the meat, onions and garlic into the crockpot, along with the beans, chili seasoning, cilantro and pepper. Give it a good stir and set on high for 4 hours, 6-8 hours on low.

If you would want to use dry beans, soak them overnight before hand and then make sure to boil them in a pot for at least 10 minutes before putting in your crockpot. Dry beans have a toxin called Phytohaemagglutinin that a crockpot's temperature cannot kill, so you definitely have to boil them first to get rid of it. It makes people sick, so you ought to be careful. But using canned beans definitely makes it easier, and bypasses the risks. Just an FYI.

About 8 points a serving. Good stuff!!

 
 
This is one of my favorite side dishes. Or you can have this as a Vegetarian (Vegan!) Main DIsh! The grape tomato and garlic blends very well together. Very simple and easy to make. Would go well with a lot of main dishes. Serves 4.

8 oz Angel Hair pasta
32 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper

Prepare Angel Hair as package directs. Set aside.

Spray a pot with nonstick spray and heat on high. Add your grape tomatoes and garlic. Saute for a minute and cover, putting heat on medium. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. You want the tomato skins to get a little loose and there should be some juice in the pan. Add the basil, oregano and black pepper, and mix well. Finally add your prepared pasta and toss together.

Only 5 points per serving! Delish!

 
 
I love love love this! So tender and sweet with a hint of heat. And just because it's southern doesn't mean it has to be high fat! Serves 6.

1 head cabbage, chopped
4 turkey bacon slices, chopped
1 onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Spray a pot with nonstick spray. Toss in your turkey bacon and fry for about 2-3 minutes, then add your onion and garlic. Saute till onion is semi-translucent and garlic is a little bit brown. Now add your cabbage and mix. Throw in the seasoned salt and red pepper flakes and mix everything up together real well, coating all the cabbage. Simmer on medium for about 25-30 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. When everything is all tender, uncover and put heat on high to burn off half of the liquid. Give it another good stir, and it is ready to serve! 

It makes such an great side dish and perfectly complements your meal. And only 1 point a serving too! Can you say awesome??
 
 
Salmon is my favorite fish. It tastes, good, easy to prepare and healthy. I like wrapping the fish in foil because it keeps it moist and cooks it evenly, and makes the fish really soak up your spices. Plus cleanup is a breeze! Serves 6.


2 pounds salmon fillets 
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp black pepper (or garlic pepper)
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 400F.


Mix the lemon juice, black pepper, dill and garlic in a small bowl.


Lay your salmon fillets on some foil cut big enough to wrap them in, individually. Spoon your lemon mixture on top of the salmon, fold up and seal. Put on a cookie sheet or ovenproof dish. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or so.


Really simple recipe, with just a few ingredients, but that's the beauty of it. 3 points a serving - even better! I like to serve this with couscous or wild rice and a side of steamed veggies.

Bon appetit! 
 
 
This is my husband's all-time favorite pasta dish. It is Amish-inspired and really tasty. He thinks ANY husband would agree this is wonderful! May well become your family's favorite too. Give it a whirl. Serves 8.

2 jars pizza sauce (or 2 8-ounce jars tomato sauce)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 pound ground beef
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp parsley
1 onion, chopped
4 oz (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 16-oz pack of penne or rigatoni pasta

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Spray a pan with nonstick spray or use 1 tbsp oil. Brown your meat along with the garlic. Add then the Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic salt. Mix well. Add in the pizza sauce, cream cheese, sour cream and parsley. I use fat-free cream cheese and sour cream, but you can use what kind you like! Mix thoroughly, and simmer for about 15 minutes to make sure everything has blended together. Toss in your onions, mix, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Prepare your pasta, drain and put in an ovenproof casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Pour meat sauce on top. Stick in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.



8 points a serving. I guarantee everyone will ask for seconds. NO DOUBT! 
 
 
Chicken Curry is definitely one my favorite dishes. I love how it smells, I love how it tastes, I love how easy it actually is to prepare. The apple lends a mild, sweet flavor to the dish. It is filling too. May seem like a long list of ingredients, but they are common things a well-stocked pantry has. This is my signature recipe. A Win all around. Serves 6.

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (or any chicken part you like)
2 apples, cored and diced
1 can coconut milk
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1 tbsp crushed ginger (or powdered ginger)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup sugar (more if you wish)
1 can diced tomatoes (or 5 fresh tomatoes, chopped)
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced (any color you prefer)
Nonstick Spray (or 1 tbsp vegetable oil)

Spray your pan with the nonstick spray, or add the oil. Heat and add the garlic, onions and ginger. Saute for about a minute or so, and add the chicken. Saute till chicken turns white. Add your apples, black pepper, red pepper flakes, sugar, bell pepper, tomatoes and coconut milk. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for about 25 minutes on medium. Serve with the rice of your choice. Even a veggie on the side.

Now the second way to cook this is with a slow cooker. And it's maddeningly simple - just toss everything in the pot, and set on low for about 6-8 hours, high for 3-4 hours.



Tip: It would be good to add 3 tbsp flour or cornstarch dissolved in a half cup of water to food like this when you cook using a crock pot. The slow cooking process usually tends to keep a lot of moisture in, causing food to be on the watery side, and you would want to thicken that up. So add the dissolved flour, stir, and cover for 5-10 minutes before serving.

It's awesome to come home to this after work, instead of fast food! 

YUM! And only 6 points a serving. Isn't that awesome?