Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich

I may have an unhealthy love of basil.   I use it almost daily, and my herb garden can’t grow it fast enough.  To me, it’s what healthy eating is-fresh, bold, and poignant.  My insides feel cleansed whenever it’s in my food.  Might be all in my head.

As a lover of sandwiches, I’ve been trying to find great sandwich recipes that include basil and travel well.  Like many students, my lunch is made at 7:00 a.m.  No one wants a sandwich that is all soggy by noon.  If that unsoggy sandwich includes basil, even better.  This sandwich has only four ingredients that travel well so you can bring all the ingredients with you and easily assemble it when you are ready to eat.  No need to live solely on pb&j’s anymore!

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Grilled Chicken and Tri-Color Peppers with Chimichurri Sauce

When I want to splurge, I buy red, yellow, or orange bell peppers.  Matt buys fried chicken.  As much I as love Matt, fried chicken doesn’t have many healthy redeeming qualities so we went for a compromise. Matt whipped up some homemade onion rings for himself, and I made a chicken entree with bell peppers. (although I did sneak a ring or two and they were amazing!)  But what’s with all this splurging?  Well, I had my health law final yesterday, and it went well!  One thing you learn from law school is the importance of celebrating the little victories. So today’s dinner was our mini-celebration.  I found a traditional South American sauce to pair with our chicken and peppers.  This sauce has a bold, herbal flavor that is perfect for summer grilling.

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Mexican Black Bean and Hominy Salad

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited.  While I do not need a holiday to enjoy a margarita or delicious Mexican food, I can definitely get behind the idea to have a day devoted to it.  Unfortunately, people have the tendency to associate great Mexican food with deep fried options.  But that doesn’t have to be the case!  I am in the middle of law school finals (last time EVER!) and to a lot of people that means gorging on unhealthy snack food and injecting coffee straight to the veins.  I do not want to become victim to this habit, but it’s really hard.  Sitting at your computer for hours at a time, pouring over case books, statutes, and outlines, it is tempting to run down to the vending machine and stock up.  But don’t worry that you’ll find yourself hiding in a study carrel shoving Cheetos in your face (it’s hard to hide the evidence when your fingers are stained orange).  This refreshing side salad is a great study snack that will keep the less healthy snacks at bay.  It pairs well with baked tortilla chip and has a little bit of sweet and salty.

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Cremona Chili

I LOVE chili.  Love it.  In fact, whenever I cave and decide I’m going to get fast food, I pick Wendy’s so I can get chili.  I have multiple different chili recipes, and I have yet to take a side on the noodles or no noodles battle.  But one thing I can definitively agree upon is using turkey instead of beef (or you can opt out of meat all together and make this vegetarian).  The beans and tomatoes serve as the prominent flavors so any distinguishable taste between turkey and beef is effectively muted.   For only 4 Weight Watcher’s Plus points per 1 1/2 cups, this chili is a healthy and filling meal.

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Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole

Grilling season is upon us! After a not-so-brutal winter, I miss the summer cookouts.  As much as I love a good hamburger, red meat is not the healthiest of options.  This black bean alternative is a great substitute and tastes better than a beef burger.  Top it off with guacamole, this burger is an instant summer classic.  This comes in at only 5 Weight Watcher’s Plus Points compared to the 8 Weight Watcher’s Plus Points for a 98% lean beef burger (patties only. buns are extra points).  I paired this meal with my sesame garlic green beans.

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Better Than Take-Out Orange Chicken

Growing up in a small town means no Chinese food restaurant.  So the first thing I did when I got my driver’s license was drive to the near-by town with my best friend to go to the Chinese buffet.  It was the ultimate sign of freedom.  (although we somehow managed to get lost driving home from Marshfield.  To this day, I have no idea how we did that).

Now that I live in the “big city” getting Chinese food is less of a special event, but it still tastes just as delicious.  Unfortunately, the deep fried dishes and heavy sauces take a toll on the waistband.  This healthy version of Orange Chicken doesn’t sacrifice any of the taste and cuts down the calories.  Instead of deep frying the chicken, the chicken is sauteed.  Plus, the sauce is full of fresh ingredients and low-sodium soy sauce.  Place this chicken and sauce over rice, and it makes a great meal.  Matt and I aren’t big fans of rice so we opted out of the rice.  Without rice, this meal is 5 Weight Watchers Plus Points.

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Bang Bang Shrimp

Since I am in the middle of p90x, our kitchen hasn’t fried anything in a long time.  And for Matt, that was a huge change.  Before he moved to the cities, his nights were spent making homemade chicken wings and fries at least 5 nights a week with his roommates.  He was the fry king.  And while the food was tasty, it definitely wasn’t healthy.  After 6 months of marriage and my healthier choices of meals, Matt has lost 10 pounds (and he never works out! Only a guy…).  But, after finding this recipe, I knew I had to make this for him–if not only for old time sake.

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Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

Finals are right around the corner which means more slow cooker dinners.  This pulled pork sandwich is a great meal after a study-filled day.  There is only a little bit of prep work, and the slow cooker does the rest!  Matt loved this meal so much that he ate two pork-stuffed sandwiches.  That’s my piggie!  For 11 Weight Watcher points per sandwich, it’s so filling that it’s worth every point!

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Peeta Pockets

I have always been a sandwich lover. From peanut butter and jelly to my “world famous” turkey, avocado, tomato stacked sandwich, I can always go for a sandwich.  This chicken pita has a zesty, fresh taste that is perfect for lunch or dinner.  With all the hype around the Hunger Games, I named this dish after my favorite character Peeta Mellark.

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