Light and easy meal ideas and recipes.

Parties & Entertaining

  • Bagel Wreath

    Bagel Wreath

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 2 - 5

    Great for parties, brunches and holiday get togethers. The dip shown in the photo here is just a few over-easy eggs mashed up. So zero points for the dip!

     

    For best results, I recommend that you watch the video tutorial I have for regular 2 ingredient dough bagels (if you haven't watched it already). You can find the recipe and video here.

     

    Recipe makes 1 wreath. 1 / 6th of the ring is 5 WW Freestyle Points - OR 1 / 12th of the ring is 2 Points.

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  • Summer Party Bucket

    Summer Party Bucket

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 0

    This summer party bucket makes a fun centerpiece that guests can munch on. Serve it with any dip or sauce you like. You can use a basket or any type of canister. I used a lined ice-bucket here. The skewers are held in place with bread at the bottom as the base.

     

    Zero WW Freestyle Points. Calories - varies.

     

    Recipe fills 1 canister or basket. 

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  • Fiesta Taco Salad

    Fiesta Taco Salad

    Calories: 347 WW Freestyle Points: 7

    I made this salad for a girls-day at my friend's house. My friend Jessica is filming the "how to serve" demonstration in the video clip below... so pardon the earthquake-like camera shaking. Love ya Jess.

     

    I used a large basket, lined with parchment paper for this, but you can use a large bowl or dish for this as well. This is a really tasty salad that makes a nice dish to bring to parties or summer barbecues. You can find my recipe for the Chili Lime Chicken marinade here

     

    Recipe makes 5 servings. 347 Calories | 7 WW Freestyle Points per serving. Nutrition and Points values exclude marinade. For accuracy, always use the WW recipe builder to calculate Points based on the specific ingredients used. Tortilla chips, salsa verde and sour cream values vary.

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  • Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Rolls

    Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Rolls

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 1

    These tasty grilled chicken rolls make a beautiful appetizer when you cut them in 1-inch peices to look like sushi rolls (see video for quick illustration). Or have them as an easy week-night dinner with a side of rice (I like Trader Joe's vegetable fried rice because you can just heat it and eat).

     

    Recipe makes about 6 grilled chicken rolls. Zero WW Freestyle Points without the sauce. Or just 1 WW Freestyle Points with the sauce (per full roll).

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  • Asian Inspired Salad

    Asian Inspired Salad

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 0

    Here's to staying healthy all summer long! This salad is a delicious side dish to take to summer barbecues. Any Asian-style dressing such as Sesame Ginger, or Thai Peanut Vinaigrette will work well. I sometimes do a simple home-made dressing mix of lemon juice, soy sauce, toasted sesame seed oil and a small dash of sugar.

     

    Recipe serves about 15 people. Zero WW Freestyle Points (excluding the dressing).

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  • Popsicles

    Popsicles

    Calories: 81 WW Freestyle Points: 1

    These festive Popsicles are great for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or all summer long. Just 1 point each! See how I made these without "blending" the fruit, and just a small amount of real sugar used. If you use Truvia or another zero calorie sweetner, these are ZERO points each. 

     

    Recipe makes 10 popsicles. 

     

    UPDATED 6/25/2019:

     

    I originally recommended the Nopro Frozen Ice Pop Maker. It was great at first, but after several washings I noticed this weird residue on the metal plate that surfaced every time it became wet. It may be because I put it in the dishwasher. Nowhere on the box did it state anything about how to wash or care for it. But I later noticed a note on the Amazon listing that said “hand washing recommended”. Apparently the product becomes unusable if you put it in the dishwasher.

     

    In any case, I was able to very easily return the item on Amazon for a full refund since it was less than 30 days since I purchased it. The return process was easy and free.

     

    Since then I tested 3 other popsicle makers (listed in order of preference). 

     

    Fox Run - Frozen Ice Pop Maker

    American Ice Pops - Frozen Ice Pop Maker

    Xing-Rui 10-Cavity Slicone - Frozen Ice Pop Maker

     

    The one I found to be best, is the Fox Run Frozen Ice Pop Maker (very similar to the Nopro). Here are the specifics on my criteria and testing:

     

    First, I only considered popsicle makers with wooden sticks. I like the classic look of a wooden stick verses plastic. And the shape of the pop itself had to have a classic popsicle shape. Second, I wanted a popsicle maker that made a set of 10 pops since I already developed recipes based on 10 popsicles. Last, I wanted something that costs $20 or less.

     

    The Xing-Rui Silicone Frozen Ice Pop Maker

    This one was ok, but I didn’t like it for a 2 reasons. 1.) The pop cavities bulged out a little when I filled them with fruit and yogurt. They didn’t hold their shape well. 2.) I can’t see the filling through the cavities since this pop maker is red. It’s hard to see how full they are as you add layers of different flavors to the pop.

     

    American Ice Pops Frozen Ice Pop Maker

    I found this pop maker to be very good. You can even remove the plastic cavities individually from the plate. The cavities were just slightly smaller in size (2.25 oz vs 3.0 oz). Otherwise, they held their shape well and removed fairly easily. But the price was $22.

     

    Fox Run Frozen Ice Pop Maker

    The price was $18.99 and they provided a coupon to save $3.60. With Amazon prime, I did not pay shipping. They hold shape really well. You can see through the semi-transparent plastic. They slide out fairly easily. But as stated on the listing “hand washing recommended”… this time, I did NOT put this popsicle maker in the dishwasher. I washed it by hand several times and it’s holding up great. The popsicles turn out beautifully.

     

    For all ice-pop makers, you have to run the cavities under hot water for about 30 seconds in order to remove the pops. Anything aluminum cannot go in the dishwasher. Hope this info helps. Happy popsicle making!

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  • Summer Fruit Salad with Pepitas

    Summer Fruit Salad with Pepitas

    Calories: 147 WW Freestyle Points: 1

    I promise you will love this! It makes a great side dish for Mother's day brunches, lunches or a dessert. Or just make it for a healthy delicious snack to have on hand.

     

    Note: if you make this recipe in advance, be sure to wait to add the mint leaves until you are ready to serve. All other ingredients can be prepared before hand. The Champagne Pear Vinaigrette from Trader Joe's has a little Gorgonzola in it, so I did not add cheese such as Goat Cheese or Feta to this salad.

     

    If you do not live in close proximity to Trader Joe's, you can substitute the dressing with my easy recipe for Champagne Vinaigrette. I think the points are the same but the nutrition values may differ.

     

    Recipe makes 4 servings. 147 calories per serving | 1 WW Freestyle Points.

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  • Spinach & Ricotta Pinwheels

    Spinach & Ricotta Pinwheels

    Calories: 247 WW Freestyle Points: 3 each (or 7 points for 2 of them)

    These soft and cheezy pinwheels are delicious when dipped in Marinara sauce. They are so good, you could easily serve them at a party and no one would know they are "diet-friendly". The video shows a quick demonstration on assembling these. Recipe makes 10 pinwheels. 3 points each (or 7 points for two of them).

     

    Here is the recipe for zero point Marinara Sauce.

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  • Ice Cream Birthday Cake

    Ice Cream Birthday Cake

    Calories: 236 WW Freestyle Points: 6 - 8

    This cake features WW Giant Chocolate Fudge bars. Just 3 ingredients used here. Easy to assemble and VERY delicious!

     

    You can find and purchase the set of 6-inch cake pans I used here on Amazon: Wilton Easy Layers Cake Pan Set. Use them for any type of cake baking too.

     

    Cake serves 6 - 8 people. 8 WW Freestyle Points for 1/6th of the cake - 6 WW Feestyle Points for 1/8th of the cake. 

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  • White Chili & Cheese Bake

    White Chili & Cheese Bake

    Calories: 270 WW Freestyle Points: 6

    This dish is a family-friendly meal, or can be served with chips as a party appetizer. All the points are in the full fat Shredded Pepper Jack cheese blend (Trader Joe's brand used here), which I find to be totally worth it. This dish makes me feel like I ate Taco Bell - but without the gross feeling I get after actually eating Taco Bell. :-D

     

    Recipe makes 8 servings. 6 points per serving. 

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  • Strawberry Shortcakes

    Strawberry Shortcakes

    Calories: 47 WW Freestyle Points: 1 each

    Just 1 point each for these super yummy mini cakes. Recipe makes 60 mini strawberry shortcakes. 47 Calories - 1 point each.

     

    You can find and purchase a two-pack of the Pillsbury Sugar Free Cake Mix here. You can also find and purchase the Mini Cupcake Baking Pans here.

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  • Strawberry Salad

    Strawberry Salad

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 3 per serving

    Super simple, easy and delicious. I made this salad for lunch, along with some grilled chicken and sugar snap peas - but I think it would also make a nice dish to bring to a summer barbecue. This recipe makes two 1-cup servings, but multiply ingredients if you want a bigger batch. 3sp per serving - full nutrition info to come in the next few days.

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  • Mini Apple Pies

    Mini Apple Pies

    Calories: 212 WW Freestyle Points: 3

    These delicious mini apple pies make a good breakfast, snack or dessert. You can serve them at parties and no one will suspect they are lightened up. The apples need a little head start in cooking because the pie crusts bake rather fast. Recipe makes 12 mini apple pies.

     

    You can find and buy the Bisquick Heart Healthy Mix here.

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  • Jello Birthday Cake

    Jello Birthday Cake

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 4 - per 1/8" slice
    4 points for 1/8" slice if you use 5 tbsp of lite cool whip per slice. You can skip the pastry bag and just spread the cool whip over the cake with a spatula. I highly recommend that you use a shallow bowl for this so the jello doesn't collapse when you remove it. The slow cooker liners can be found at almost any grocery store in the section with plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
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  • Mini Pizza

    Mini Pizza

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 2 each

    These mini pizzas are quick, easy and delicious. They make a great party appetizer or a fun dinner the kids will love. I used a 3 inch round cookie cutter to shape the crust. Shown here is shaved Parmesan and basil on some, and 1/2 oz of mozzarella on the others. You can find the recipe for zero point marinara sauce on the veryMichelly.com website, in the category "Sides, Sauces and Dressing" or just use the search bar at the top of the page. 2 points per pizza. Recipe makes 12 mini pies.

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  • Chocolate Banana Mini Muffins

    Chocolate Banana Mini Muffins

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 2

    Regular Pillsbury Devil's food cake mix used here (not sugar free). Cute little treat for birthday parties or a fun snack. I think these have a bit more moisture than similar recipes I've tried that use applesauce in place of oil. Recipe makes 48 mini cupcakes.

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  • Quick Guacamole

    Quick Guacamole

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 2 points per half cup
    This is a quick avocado dip - a little lighter that regular guacamole because it's mixed with salsa and black beans. Recipe makes 5 servings.
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  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 1
    The chicken meatballs are zero points. Note that I deliberately leave out breadcrumbs in lean ground chicken and turkey meatballs because the meat is already dry. I find that the breadcrumbs just make it even dryer. The sweet and sour sauce recipe is 5 points for the entire batch. It coats about 25 - 1 1/2" chicken meatballs. So 5 meatballs comes to 1 point. Recipe makes about 25 chicken meatballs.
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  • Mini Broccoli Cheddar Casseroles

    Mini Broccoli Cheddar Casseroles

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 3
    Easy to prepare and portion in advance. These delicious little cups of goodness are a great accompaniment to chicken or turkey as a main, or as a party appetizer. Recipe makes 12 servings.
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  • Birthday Cake

    Birthday Cake

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 6 (per slice)
    I don't love using artificial sweeteners, but every now and then I do it if it's a special treat.
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  • Party Platter

    Party Platter

    Calories: WW Freestyle Points: 0 (without sauces or dips)
    You can find a bunch of different sauces and dips in the "Sides, Sauces and Dressings" section of this site.
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