Monday, February 6, 2012

Copycat Smart Ones recipes

In my quest to be healthier, I've done a pretty good job of cutting processed foods out of my diet- EXCEPT for Smart Ones. If I have a beef with Weight Watchers, it's that the foods with their logo on it are some of the worst processed foods on the shelves! Yes, they're low points, but at what cost? The reason I buy them is because I like to spend ZERO time in the morning packing my lunch.

But I know I could do better.

I am going to take my favorite Smart Ones meals and make them freezer meals so that I still have the convenience that I love, but much healthier. As an added bonus, right now I can't use them doing Simply Filling, but if I make my own, substituting the less appealing choices with better ones (such as brown rice instead of white), I don't have to count them toward my weekly points!

Take one, Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans. LOVE it. Eat it at least twice a week. I get fresh lettuce and tomato from the school cafeteria (I may be a school lunch critic, but they have a lovely salad bar) and bulk up the meal without bulking up the points.

Here's a copycat recipe I found at the Extraordinary Life blog, with some changes I made and points included.

Santa Fe Rice and Beans

^ 2 cups brown rice, uncooked (32 points)
*4 cups Water
^ 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (0 points)
^1/2 cup salsa (usually 0 points, avoid fruity salsas with added sugar)
*2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (see Pin here)
^ 1 can black beans, rinsed (4 points)
^ 1 can kidney beans, rinsed (5 points)
^ 1 can corn (4 points)
*1 teaspoon salt
* pepper to taste

To serve- optional:^ 1/2 cup fat-free grated cheese (2 points)
^ 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream (2 points)

*seasonings are typically 0 points, as is water^ indicates a Power Food 


  • Combine all of the ingredients (except dairy) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.  
  • Cover and cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Optional- Add cheese and sour cream and mix well.

Serve immediately or from the freezer, reheating in the microwave, atop a bed of romaine lettuce and diced tomatoes if desired.

Total points for this recipe- 49 (with dairy), divided into seven servings is just 7 points a serving, one point less than the Smart Ones meal! 

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