April 25th… almost

Don’t you just love this time of year? I certainly do. The sun is still showing its happy face at almost 7pm, the warmth of the day lingers a little longer each day, and if you’re lucky the weekends mean some time to enjoy the fresh air.

Of course the perfect day is April 25. Because… all you need is a light jacket. So I’m a little early with this post. 😉

Despite the wondrous climate and freshness to the season, today was a grueling one. I did both law school “stuff” and then spent a few hours cleaning up my backyard (which is why I then ate dinner out there).

Guys this was an overly indulgent meal. With the wine it was 21 SP! But…I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so I had lots of points available and decided to just go for it.

Pesto Pasta with Sausage – 17 SP

1 C Trader Joes Vegetable Radiatore Pasta – 7 SP

2 Trader Joes Fully Cooked Garlic Herb Chicken Sausage – 5 SP

2 TBSP Mezzetta Basil Pesto – 5 SP

5 oz White Wine – 4 SP

Red Pepper Flakes – 0 SP

Total SP w/wine: 21 SP

Total SP w/o wine: 17 SP

Just because I went a little crazy doesn’t mean you can’t replicate something similar with fewer points. Here are some ways you could alter this meal to not have it be so heavy points-wise:

Drop the wine (obviously). Drinking your calories/points is not a great choice generally, but sometimes you just gotta throw caution to the wind. Also, be careful about over-pouring if you are going to imbibe. I found this great article which visually shows what 5 ounces of wine looks like in different glass sizes. Super helpful!

Substitute the pesto for something lighter. If you use a food processor and some fresh basil, you can use a lot less olive oil than the prepared varieties contain. Or just go for a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and some cracked pepper if you really want to save on calories.

Add some real veggies. This meal is sad because there are no vegetables. Well kind of. The radiatore from TJs is supposedly made from veggies. Regardless I didn’t add any whole, unprocessed vegetables and instead went hog-wild with the sausage…and had 2!

One note on the sausage. I recently found the Chicken Herb sausage courtesy of a WW Instagrammer (I think – sorry I can’t provide more info here) and while it isn’t as satisfying as an Italian sausage (my fave) or a bratwurst, it has the right flavors to trick the ole mind. And they’re a heck of a lot fewer SP than either of those aforementioned versions. Plus they’re already cooked, so from fridge to plate is speedy – always a win.

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