My Sweet Marie

So here’s a little twist on falafel balls, baked, not fried. We all know I am counting points these days so you should get at least 24 balls, which makes them 2 points each! Enjoy with a salad or as a snack…full of protein!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. chick pea or gluten-free flour
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 2 mini muffin tin sheets with the oil. Mash chickpeas in a food processor, then add remaining ingredients and blend to a thick, paste-like consistency.
  2. Shape into small ping pong-size balls and place each in a cup of the mini muffin tin. Bake, flipping balls halfway through, until balls are golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

I get asked a lot “what’s a good, low point breakfast?” My favourite one is the 1 point egg white omelette. It’s tasty, filling and good for you! I use my little rock fry pan almost everyday making this up for my brekkie!

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup egg whites

Directions:

  1. Fry your mushrooms in your non-stick rock fry pan or use a spray to grease a fry pan.
  2. Add in the kale and sautee some more.
  3. Add in your egg whites and cook till you can flip the omelet.
  4. Cook both sides and then serve with a spoonful of salsa over top!
  5. Add a serving of fresh fruit on the side and ta-da, healthy breakfast!
  6. Note: you can have onions, peppers, ham, bacon or cheese to this if you’d like but be sure to count the extra points for the meat/cheese!
  7. I like to buy my egg whites in a carton as it’s so much easier then separating the eggs and I hate to waste those yolks!

Being a weight watcher I end to find recipes or create recipes that are slimmed down versions of my favourite foods. Feel free to convert this to anyway you like your spaghetti but I like mine thick with veggies and a bit of meat too! I like to spiralize a few zucchini and have my sauce over zucchini which keeps the point value low and my carbs to a minimum! I hope you like my slimmed down version of spaghetti sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 1cup(s)fresh mushroom(s)
  • 1cup diced carrot(s)
  • 1cup diced uncooked onion(s)
  • 1 cup red pepper diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 16oz uncooked ground turkey breast
  • 4 cup(s)no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups Italian tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp oregano and basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

  • Brown your ground turkey with the onions, peppers, celery and carrots. If there’s any fat, drain it off.
  • Add in your tomatoes and sauce and spices.
  • Simmer until bubbly and thickened.
  • Serve over zucchini noodles (spiralized) or shirataki noodles or spaghetti squash for low points.
  • 3 Smart points per cup of sauce.

Salsa is a life saver for me! I put it on eggs in the morning, use as a dip for veggies or tortillas, have it on chicken, Oh I could go on but you get the idea! It’s 0 WW points so have at it! This is a super easy recipe too! You will need a food processor for this recipe, maybe a good blender would work, not sure! Here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of tomatoes, diced or whole
  • 2 small onions
  • 15 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6-8 jalapenos
  • 2 red peppers, chop roughly
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed
  • 3 limes zested
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in your food processor in batches till all are finely minced.
  2. Place in crock pot and let stew for 6 hours on low.
  3. Have ready your jars clean sterile with lids sterile as well.
  4. Ladle into your jars, wiping the rim clean and seal with sterile lids.
  5. Wrap in a large blanket or sleeping bag for 24 hours.
  6. Enjoy as you would any salsa!
  7. 0 Smart points per serving!

Here’s a dairy-free caramel sauce that is healthy to have! Enjoy with your Yonana, or yogurt or however you use caramel sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Soak your dates for 10 minutes in very hot water, just to soften them. Drain them.
  2. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and blend till it’s smooth.
  3. Store in the fridge for 7 days.
  4. WW 3 smart points per 1/6th of recipe. 5 points for 1/4. Enjoy!

I do love me some honey, add in garlic and soy sauce….yummy!! Here’s a great recipe if you’re on the WW program, it’s a 5 point per portion option for dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 4 x 4oz chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 tbsp. soy sauce, I used gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp of fresh ginger, crushed

Directions:

  1. Lay the chicken breasts in a casserole.
  2. Blend the honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. You may have to warm the honey to blend it. I nuked mine for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  4. Bake at 350 for an hour. Easy peasy!
  5. Serve with brown rice and broccoli for a well balanced meal!
  6. the chicken is 5 points, rice is 5 points for a cup cooked rice and the broccoli is 0 as long as it’s steamed!

My sweetie and I celebrate every anniversary, some years it’s a simple picnic in the living room, some years it’s order in, and this year we went all out and took a fabulous trip to Europe and topped it off with a lovely dinner at The Springs Restaurant, right here in London, On. We both strongly feel that every anniversary should be celebrated in some way, as marriage is something you have to work at, as are all relationships. They don’t just happen, you need to spend time together! Ok enough preaching, back to the review!

We all dine for different reasons, sometime we simply want a quick bite, or maybe we feel like Thai tonight or maybe we are celebrating a special anniversary, say our 35th and want a nice spot with atmosphere, great service, nice food that is presented like a chef took the time to be sure the plate was perfect! Well BINGO we hit the nail on the head this year!

The Springs Restaurant’s décor is warm and inviting, it has great atmosphere where the tables are spaced out enough that you don’t have to hear the neighbor’s conversation, or lack of, the lighting was just light enough to read the menu but dim enough to set the mood and the piano player was heard but not intrusive or too loud!

The service was impeccable, maybe the best in London! Ron, our server was ever so gracious. He knew that I was a gluten/dairy-free diner, as I had called ahead, and went over the entire menu with me! He went from dish to dish, explained which would be a wise choice, which he could make gluten-free and which ones to avoid. (Which was few, most items they were able to modify) Speaking for all gluten/dairy free diners I have to say that this is so appreciated! I actually was once called a Gluten-tard by a restaurant owner  and was horrified, not to mention would never go back there again! This was NOT the case at the Springs, they went way over and above to make me feel like a welcomed guest!

Now let’s get down to the brass tacks, the food! This has to be the nicest food I have seen in London in a long time! How have I not eaten here before? I started with the Baked Goat Cheese, it was beautifully crisp, served piping hot with a tomato/caper and olive tapenade and gluten-free toasts! It’s normally served up with a crostini but let me tell you, to have good gluten-free bread served in a restaurant, that is top drawer stuff!

Denis, my sweetie, started with the Crab Cakes and I couldn’t sample so I will have to go by his oohs and aahs to assume they were delicious. He noted the spicy chili sauce they were served with, and did everything but lick the plate clean! Apparently they were tasty!

I then had the Salmon which was served on a bed of wild rice and surrounded by roasted vegetables! The salmon was tender, fresh and tasty, the presentation and sauce were lovely and the vegetables al dente, perfect in my eyes! Denis had the Venison, a first for him and raved about the sauce! I did get a bite of the meat and he dipped it in the sauce which I believe was a chocolate pomegranate sauce. It was so tender, really lovely. It was served with a mashed potato as well, again not a speck left on his plate!

Dessert is always a difficult one for me in restaurants. They often will have gluten-free cake or brownies but often have dairy in them. In that case I order myself a Spanish coffee as to me, that’s a big treat! I should have asked for decaf tho! Denis had the Crème Brule and thought it was pretty darn good, the presentation again was great, you can tell the staff take the time to make things pretty!

So to summarize, service was prompt, dishes picked up as soon as we were done, attentive and respectful. Food and presentation get top marks from me and the atmosphere was romantic to us as well. If you have been on the fence on whether to try this place out or not, what is stopping you?

I should mention the Springs is totally accessible for those that need that option. Pricing is on par with fine dining as it should be. They are not buying food pre-fab, this is all in house prepared food with much thought and planning to the marrying of tastes, presentations and service. This is not a restaurant where your server is going to pull up a chair, put his elbows on your table and say “Hey, what’s up?” . You will be treated as guests and treated well!

To the owners of The Springs, I say Bravo, great job and to Chef Andrew Wolwicz, my compliments! I thank you, hand to heart, for your extra effort in making our 35th anniversary special by going out of your way for my food intolerances and making me feel comfortable and relaxed.

Yours in dining,

Sweet Marie

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