Tasty Tuesday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Thank you Michelle for sharing this recipe with us.  Michelle is “my” AMAZING leader at Weight Watchers on Thursday mornings.  She has been through the good and the bad times with me.  It is with her help and the support of my Thursday morning family, I hit goal.  

Cooking Time: 50  Prep Time: 15     Servings: 8   SmartPoints™ value: 7


12 oz uncooked pasta
12 oz fat free evaporated milk
2 cup(s) cheddar, shredded, low fat
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
¼ tsp table salt
¼ tsp black pepper
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp dried plain breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Plain nonfat Greek yogurt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 4 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in sour cream.
3. Meanwhile, heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear just around the edge (do not boil). Reduce heat and stir in the mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
4. Mix yogurt into pasta then add the milk mixture to the macaroni mixture, stirring until blended. Transfer to the baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden, about 30 minutes. Serves 8 (serving=1 cup)

Yummy stuff, even hubby likes it! Make some and freeze the leftovers for lunch. What do you carry your lunch to work in? Hopefully, it a Thirty One thermal with so many options to pick from there is something for everyone. Don’t forget there is still 48 hours to shop for both the Winter and the NEW Spring catalogs. Which thermal will you pick?

Add thermal picture options…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Spicy Black Bean Soup

Since the weather has been bitter cold here in NJ, I have been on a “soup kick”.  I love soup and with the NEW Freestyle points from Weight Watchers, I can made some really yummy soups for ZERO points.

Prep Time: 20     Cooking Time: 30     Servings: 8     SmartPoints™ value: 0

The key to thickening this soup without flour? Pureeing some of the beans before cooking it. You’ll love the stick-to-your-ribs texture results.


1 spray(s) cooking spray
1 medium uncooked onion(s), finely chopped
4 clove(s) garlic clove(s), minced
45 oz canned black beans, undrained, divided (three 15 oz cans)
½ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
14 ½ oz fat free chicken broth, or vegetable broth
10 oz canned tomatoes with green chilis
11 oz canned yellow corn, drained


1. Coat bottom of a large stockpot with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Place one can of beans in blender; add sautéed onion mixture, red pepper flakes and cumin. Cover and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture back into stockpot.
3. Place second can of beans and broth in blender and puree until smooth; add to stockpot.
4. Stir third can of beans (do not puree first), tomatoes and green chilies, and corn into stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups of soup per serving.

Have some leftovers you want to take for lunch? Why not check out some of these AWESOME deals available through January 14th at Thirty One.

 The Around the Clock Thermal retails for $30 but some are on sale for $15 – $18 each.

 The Going Places Thermal retails for $25 with some on sale for $7.50 – $15. each

 The Go To Thermal (great for kids because it is machine washable) retails for $18 with sale prices from $5.40 – $9

 The LunchBreak Thermal retails for $25 with some prints on sale for $15.

 The Thermal Lunch Tote has long been a favorite and retails for $18.  Some prints are currently on sale for $9 – $10.80 each.

All prices are quoted before tax and shipping.  Thermals can be personalized for an additional cost.  Check out all of the Weekly Deals at www.partywithHope.com

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Key Lime Pie Parfaits

I am transforming (or at least trying to) my eating into a more healthy lifestyle.  Less processed foods and more of making my own goodies.  I have to be honest, I struggle with some recipes.  The secret ingredient in this recipe is avocado.  Now, I know they are good for me BUT I just don’t care for them.  But, I am willing to give it a try…

This recipe is from Food Babe who is all about healthy clean eating.  So, if you want to shake things up in the morning, this creamy parfait is tart, but full of fiber and nutrients to keep you satisfied all morning long.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats shown to protect the heart and are also a good source of fiber and fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamin E.

Let’s get started, you’ll need a blender and a few simple ingredients…

Prep time:  10 mins     Total time: 10 mins     Serves: 3      Weight Watcher Smartpoints: 7


1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
¼ cup culinary coconut milk, more as needed
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
pinch sea salt

Optional: 1 cup granola of choice (add these points)


Place all of the ingredients in a blender except the granola and blend until smooth.
To serve, place ¼ cup granola in a cup and top with ¼ cup key lime pie mousse. Repeat the granola and mousse layers once more. Enjoy!

Note:  Please use all organic ingredients if possible.

Need to take this YUMMY breakfast to work with you?  Use one of Thirty One’s thermal lunch totes….Pick one to fit your needs.  Not sure which one will work, I will be happy to help you.

  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!



Tasty Tuesday: Naked Chicken & Eggplant Parm

Thank you Hungry Girl for another AWESOME recipe.  The farmer markets are open and veggies are fresh.  What better way to enjoy them then with some protein.  I’m not usually one to run the oven this long in the summer but it is sooooo worth it.

All the things you crave about chicken and eggplant Parmesan, in one big melty dish… Super yum!

Prep: 15 minutes          Cook: 1 hour and 10 minutes          Cool: 10 minutes

1/4th of pan (4″ X 4″): 350 calories, 12g total fat (5.5g sat fat), 814mg sodium, 14.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 7.5g sugars, 45.5g protein — SmartPoints™ value 6*


1 large eggplant (about 20 oz.), ends removed
Four 5-oz. boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, Italian seasoning


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets and an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with nonstick spray.
  • Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt, and lay on one of the baking sheets.
  • Lay chicken cutlets on the other baking sheet, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. onion powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • Bake eggplant and chicken for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine these ingredients in a medium bowl: tomatoes, 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, and 1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder. Mix well.
  • Remove chicken from oven.
  • Flip eggplant, and bake until lightly browned and mostly softened, about 12 minutes. Remove sheet, but leave oven on.
  • Evenly layer the following ingredients in the baking pan: 1/4th of the sauce, half of the eggplant slices, another 1/4th of the sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp. Parm, and another 1/4th of the sauce. Evenly top with cooked chicken.
  • Continue layering with remaining eggplant slices, sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and 2 tbsp. Parm.
  • Cover pan with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
  • Uncover and bake until cheese has completely melted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Have leftovers?  What better what to take them to work the next day then in a Thirty One Thermal?  Did you know they are on special in June?  50% off any thermal with a $35 purchase  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Saving Money on Your Road Trip


The weather is getting warmer and I am ready for a road trip.  Of course, I am usually ready for one.  A definite perk of a business you can work from anywhere.

So whether you are preparing for a weekend getaway or starting to plan for the summer; here are some tips to help you save some money on your road trip:

1. Get a Tuneup and Cut Weight

There are TWO preventative measures you need to take before heading out on a road trip.  They will help you save gas and avoid the need for roadside assistance.  Getting your tires checked and your oil changed.  Did you know you can improve your gas mileage when your tires are inflated to the proper pressure.  Gas mileage can also be improved by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil in your car.  This is a BIG one because I don’t know about you but I always come home with MORE than what I left with on a road trip….Remove any unnecessary weight from your car –  excess weight can reverse the other gas saving measures you take.

2. Rent Responsibly

If you’re renting a car, avoid airport outposts and seek out deals online. Check out Groupon or Ebates for deals.  Choose the smallest car to meet your travel needs.  It will not only save you money on the rental, but you’ll save on gas, too.

3. Stock Up Before Hitting the Road

When on a road trip, we do “pee, eat & gas” stops.  Everything at one time to save us time and usually money.  I usually stock up BEFORE hitting the road with my favorite cooler filled with drinks, healthy snacks and food.  Thirty One has a thermal for everyone – small for the kids to family size. Many have the “leak lock” protection so you can use ice instead of freezer packs. 

I also pack lots of individually-bagged snacks to avoid the temptation to “graze”.  Things like granola bars, nuts and cookies.

4. Use Mobile Apps to Save on Gas

Apps like GasBuddy  has a feature to help you calculate fuel costs for a trip or compare prices at nearby gas stations.  Planning your route ahead of time can also cut costs. The best option is not always the shortest distance between point A and point B.  I usually want the quick one and then end up sitting in traffic because of poor planning. Map out the most efficient route based on mileage and possible traffic.  Check out the app Waze

5. Call and Book Hotels Directly

Leaving last minute, check out Expedia, Hotwire and Priceline for last-minute deals on hotel rooms.  Be aware they don’t always have the best deals.  Once you’ve found the hotel you want and the best rate online, call the hotel directly to see if they can beat the rate — or at least match and upgrade your room. They’ll save money by not having to pay the online travel agency and will often pass the savings to you.

6. Start a Summer Savings Plan

You may not have a small fortune in time for this summer’s vacation, but there are saving tools to help you get ahead of some expenses.  Set up an auto withdraw from your bank account to a separate savings account for vacation.  Some banks offer things like “keep the change” which moves the difference between your debit card purchase and the next whole number to a savings account.  I am always amazed at how much I can save each month.  Do you use coupons?  How about taking the money you saved in coupons and putting it in a jar or in a separate bank account.  You may be surprised what a difference those $5 or $10 each week will make when it is time to go on vacation.

No matter where you are going or what you are doing, there are cost cutting measures along the way. What are your favorite tips for saving money on a road trip?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!