Buffalo Shrimp

I know, I know – “Another ‘buffalo’ recipe? This chick is cray – to the – z!”

You may be right. But you know what? I am okay with that!

Seriously, when the husband and I started losing weight – the one thing I said I couldn’t do was give up foods I love. I love buffalo anything and everything. But it usually comes deep-fried and loaded with butter. Nothing wrong with that, unless you’re trying to avoid fried food and excessive butter.

So I needed ways to curb my craving so I didn’t go on a crazy hot wing binge.

Enter a really easy and delicious buffalo-style shrimp. This is great with mashed potatoes (particularly blue cheese mashed potatoes) – buuut I didn’t have potatoes on hand so I just poured the shrimp on top of some whole wheat couscous! Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Buffalo Shrimp (2 servings – 6 WW Points per serving)

8 oz. shrimp

1 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

3 Tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Thaw your shrimp and remove tails if needed.

Mix together your flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Add to a small Ziploc bag and shake until combined.

Pat shrimp until slightly dry. Heat your oil in a medium to large skillet over medium heat.

Add your shrimp to Ziploc bag and seal, leaving some air. Toss until shrimp is coated with flour and seasoning mixture.

When oil is heated, add shrimp to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes and then flip, cooking another 3-5 minutes. You should get a good golden brown color and a crisp coating on the shrimp.

In a small saucepan, melt your butter and whisk in hot sauce. If you don’t have a great heat tolerance, you can add some honey to tone it down a little (this would affect your points value).

Add shrimp to sauce and toss to coat.

Serve with potatoes, couscous, rice or just by itself and dig in!

Try this and you won’t question my buffalo-obsession any longer…

Promise!

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Bacon-Cheese Chicken

So it’s the beginning of the month aaaand I am in desperate need of a grocery run. But the playoffs are on tonight – so I needed to get home and cook something quick!

I had some chicken and was trying to think of something new to do with it. But my brain is fried – so I really couldn’t come up with anything. I was ready to just do the good old standby of Georgia Baked Chicken. But when I opened the fridge, I saw cheese. And bacon.

So why not throw those on top of some chicken?

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Evil. Genius.

Bacon-Cheese Chicken (serves 2)

2- 4 oz. chicken breasts

2 tsp. smoked paprika (regular works too)

2 Tbsp. chicken broth

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 slices turkey bacon, cooked

1/4 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

Heat a medium skillet to medium. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with paprika.

Cook chicken in skilled for 4-5 minutes on each side until lightly browned on each side. Add chicken broth to pan to keep chicken from drying out and cook another 5-7 minutes, flipping chicken once.

Once chicken is cooked through, spread 1 tsp. Dijon mustard on tops of each.

Then, break apart pieces of bacon to coat the top of the chicken.

Top the bacon with cheese.

Cover the skillet and turn heat to low. Once cheese has melted, you’re ready to serve.

This was just a quick dish to throw together – and it’s also healthy too. If you use the ingredients as stated above, we’re talking 5 WW points for a chicken breast.

Like I said, evil genius…

This is Amore

Are you now channeling Dean Martin and singing about pizza pie? Can you guess the theme of the recipe I’m sharing today?

The husband and I love hot wings. And we love pizza. Again, things that are not so great for you when you’re trying to shed a couple of pounds.

When I started Weight Watchers 2 years ago, my major concern was depriving myself of things that I really enjoy eating. And being cranky about it. And snapping. Like “I haven’t eaten a cheeseburger in 4 months and I look so great…but I am going to walk into that fast food restaurant ,drop some ‘bows on children, hop the counter, shove down 12 cheeseburgers and 5 orders of fries. And a diet coke, because duh, I’m on a diet!”

So I found a way to make the diet work for me – not me work for the diet. And it makes me more child friendly too.

I simply found ways to make the things I craved. One day, going through my recipe box of some family recipes, I stumbled upon a soup I remember LOVING as a kid that my mom made. Hm. I modified it a little, plugged it in to my recipe builder and told the husband – “I’m going to make us pizza soup.”

He drooled a little. He loves pizza – I mean, we all do – but he reallllly loves it. And now – he reallly loves pizza soup! (Still not as much as regular pizza…but it’s up there!)

I forgot how amazing this was – so now I’m sharing the amazingness with you. Make this. Make a bunch of it and have some leftovers at lunch. Your co-workers will be jealous. And then you can share it with them – if you’re feeling generous.

Pizza Soup (makes 4 bowls…aka serves 2, wink wink)

8 oz. ground extra lean turkey breast (or ground beef or ground chicken)

1 can Campbell’s Minestrone soup

14 oz. jar pizza sauce

14 oz. water

Turkey pepperoni (I use about 30 slices)

5-6 dashes Tabasco, more if you dare (we do)

4 Tbsp. shredded fat-free mozzarella

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat your saucepan to medium. Cook turkey, breaking into crumbles as you go. Drain if needed. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Add your pizza sauce. Then, refill the jar with water and add water to saucepan. Stir to combine.

Add the can of Minestrone soup, stir to combine. Add Tabasco sauce, salt (about 1/4 tsp.) and pepper (about 1/8 tsp.) and stir.

Slice your pepperoni into halves and quarters (I do about 15 each way) and add pepperoni to the saucepan. Mix well and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes until bubbling, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve soup and top each bowl with 1 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella.

Yes, that’s it. A meal that is warm, delicious, filling and ready in about 30 minutes.

Now THAT is Amore.