turkey-barley soup

So, this is a picture taken before it was totally done. I completely forgot to take one after the carrots were completely cooked (and floated to the top), the barley was done and the turkey was added. The soup was a hit and is a great way to use up the Thanksgiving left-overs (assuming you’re turkey eaters), not to mention that it is a great twist on the old classic, chicken noodle. It looks a lot more complicated than it is, I promise.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, scraped and sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 4 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6-8 cups turkey broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey meat (make sure all bones are removed)


  • In a large skillet, heat oil and saute onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms; sprinkle thyme on veggies and continue to saute until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Pour turkey stock into a large pot (if you have less than 8 cups of stock, add water to make up difference) and whisk in the tomato paste; stir in sauteed veggies; turn heat to high.
  • Stir in barley, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • When soup comes to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 1 hour, or until barley is tender.
  • Stir in turkey meat and continue to simmer just until soup is heated through.

A few changes…rather than make this in a large soup pot, I did it in a crock pot. I sauteed in a saute pan, but the rest: crock pot. And, rather than boil it for an hour, I just left the crock pot on overnight (I started cooking at about midnight, so that gave it a good 8 hours of cook time) on low and then added the turkey in the morning. Because it was for a lunch thing, I had to transport the crock pot to work (lots of plastic wrap = no spills) and I turned it back on warm once I arrived. It was perfect!

asian salad

Here is the original recipe. I, however, read the reviews and followed a tip given by a reviewer, which make the recipe much, much lower in fat and calories. I recommend following those instructions.


  • 2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, crushed
  • 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded (I just used the prepackaged and chopped cole slaw mix…so you add a few carrots to the mix, no big deal)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


  • In a medium skillet over low heat brown ramen noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds with melted butter or margarine. Once browned, take off heat and cool.
  • In a small saucepan bring vegetable oil, sugar, and vinegar to boil for 1 minute. Cool. Add soy sauce.
  • In a large bowl , combine shredded napa cabbage and chopped green onions.
  • Add the noodle and soy sauce mixture. Toss to coat. Serve.

Changes provided by Micke.

“Way too fat for our tastes…changed to 1/4 cup oil, 3 tbsp vinegar, 3 tbsp sugar. Didn’t use butter at all, but toasted sesame seeds and almonds in oven at 350 for 7 minutes. Every one raves over this recipe, and it’s a lot healthier, with less juice in bottom of bowl. I also added the flavor pack from the ramen noodles to the dressing and it was to die for. Thanks for the great start though.”

chicken salad


  • 3/4 c fat-free sour cream
  • 3 scallions (green onions), minced
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley (I really don’t like the flavor of parsley, so I substituted with cilantro)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 c grapes
  • 1/2 c cashews
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 c shredded chicken
  • 8 large lettuce leaves


  • In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, scallions, parsley (cilantro), lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to blend. Add the grapes, cashews, chicken and toss to coat. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.

Weight Watchers Nutritional Information

  • Makes four servings
  • 6 points each

*This recipe is from the South Beach Diet Cookbook. It would be phase 1, except that I added grapes and cashews because it needed a little something more…since we are not doing South Beach. However, if you are a South Beach Dieter, it is definitely a great phase 1 recipe.

black bean and corn stew


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
  • 2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 10 oz package frozen corn


  • In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
  • To the pan, add chiles, beans, tomatoes and their juice, 2 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cups of the stew. Return the puree to the pan (I used a stick blender and just pulsed a little here and there), and add frozen corn; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

I got this recipe from Jessica at Small Time Cooks. It’s a great blog. Check it out. She recommends serving the stew with cornbread or tortilla chips…I think it would also be great with a little cheese and/or sour cream. It’s also a great alternative to chili for baked potatoes and chili boats. Hopefully, my group likes it as much as I do.

Nutritional Info

  • 6 servings
  • 255 calories
  • 3 grams fat
  • 9 grams fiber
  • 12 grams protein
  • WW – 5 points

turkey pastrami and pasta salad


  • 3/4 lb turkey pastrami, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 oz rotini, cooked and drained
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (I don’t like them chopped, so I shaved them)
  • 1/2 c chopped onion (I fear raw onion in salads, so I use green onions)
  • 1/2 c chopped celery (I slice it super thin)
  • 4 oz can olives, drained and sliced (do yourself a favor, go for pre-sliced)
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered (again, pre-quartered=much faster and easier)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp white wine vinegar (I have really good vinegar…it’s totally worth it)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (suck it up and do it right)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (when using salt in salads, it pays to use something other than table salt…I love Ile de Re)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (go for the freshly ground…I like a little kick, so I went for white)


  • They were a bit extensive…I just threw it all together and I have to say it’s pretty good. Oh, and the recipe called for lettuce leaves so you can serve it on those…to me that’s just a pain. If I were going for presentation, I might consider it.

WW Nutritional Information

  • Six servings
  • 1 tsp of olive oil per serving
  • 6-7 points per serving