Lemony One-Pan Orecchiette

Donna’s Meal Plan for Week of June 17

Last week’s post focused on a couple of chicken recipes I found at The New York Times. They came out well, but neither recipe wowed me. I chose not to add these two recipes to the ones I keep in regular rotation.

But this week is another matter. I’m including two dishes that I come back to again and again, because they’re easy to put together, are relatively low on Weight Watchers points… and my husband LOVES them. And that latter point is half the mealtime battle.

Note that we attended a concert on Sunday night, so this week’s meal plan has one less entry than usual.


SkinnyTaste Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili

One of my all-time favorite online places to find recipes is Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste.com. And this is an all-time favorite of her website’s users. She describes it as “an easy slow cooker dump recipe using freezer and pantry staples.” You basically just chop an onion, open a bunch of cans, add some chicken and forget about it for six or seven hours.

The recipe makes enough chili to feed a family. So in my household of two empty-nesters, that equates to dinner, one or two lunches, and leftovers for another dinner.

On top of that, it’s truly forgiving: If I don’t have the right kind of tomatoes or beans, substituting what I do have on hand is OK. You can use commercial taco seasoning or follow Gina’s recipe to make your own. Because I am reducing my sodium intake, I omit the salt. I also added some cayenne pepper to give it the punch it misses without the Ro-Tel tomatoes and canned jalapeños I did not have in my pantry this morning.

Best of all: This is an extremely low-point dish. Depending on how you’ve customized the program, it may be as little as one point per serving!



Once again, I will be attending my oil painting class and meeting the husband downtown for dinner.


Weight Watchers Lemony One-Pan Orrechiette with Sausage and Broccolini

I love pasta. But like other people who struggle with their weight, pasta is not so loving back. This dish only uses 8 ounces of pasta, balanced with plenty of broccoli, tomatoes, and chicken or turkey sausage. It’s filling without being too heavy on carbs.

I also love the look of the lightly cooked broccoli and the fresh tomato topping.

One short-cut is to use packaged, pre-washed and cut broccoli instead of broccolini. I also sometimes increase the lemon juice a little bit while omitting the step of grating the lemon peel.

But once again, that pesky doctor’s order to reduce my sodium intake necessitates a modification that does add some time to making this dish. Instead of using Italian sausage, I substitute a pound of ground turkey – seasoned with the following:

1 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp whole fennel seed
A pinch of dried oregano
A pinch of dried thyme
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

The only other modification I make is omitting the red pepper flakes from the recipe, because I already added them to the ground turkey.


Grilled Chicken Caprese Salad

This dish from Skinnytaste looks like a good one for a hot summer evening, as the actual cooking is all on the outdoor grill.

I have not tried this recipe yet, so I will be making it as written (without modifications, other than omitting the salt).




Dinner out


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