Zero Point Cheesecake

I saw a recipe today for a zero-point cheesecake.  I read over the directions and decided to make it. Of course, I made my own changes to it.  The only artificial sweetener I use is Stevia.  I use only Stevia because I have grown Stevia in my garden before. It’s in the mint family. I’ve chewed on the leaves – and they’re unbelievably sweet! So at least the origin of Stevia sweetener is natural. I know they add artificial stuff to get it into a powdered form. Still, it’s better than sweeteners that are completely concocted in chemistry labs.

I also added an additional egg – to make 4 altogether. The reason I did that is to make the batter thicker and for it to have more substance when it is chilled.

Since I had a big juicy lime in the refrigerator, I decided to make this first one a lime cheesecake.

How did it turn out? This cheesecake is delicious!  I have to admit that I couldn’t wait the recommended two hours for it to cool. So my husband and I split a slice of warm cheesecake.  It makes 8 generous servings.  I used a large deep dish pie plate that I had.  Next time I will use a regular pie plate.

Next time I plan on making a marble cheesecake. Once the batter is in the pan and before I bake it, I will drizzle some sugar-free Hershey syrup on it, and then use a spoon to swirl it through the batter. I will measure the syrup first to be sure and get an exact count of points. The chocolate syrup will probably make the slices 1 point each instead 0 points.

The only ingredient with points in the recipe below is the sugar-free pudding mix. It is 3 points per box. So there are three points in the entire cheesecake.  Technically, that would be 0 points per slice if you make 8 slices.  If you eat more than one slice, I’d count 1 point.

Zero-Point Cheesecake

4 Eggs (0 points)

3 cups Plain Fat-Free Greek Yogurt (0 points)

1 pkg. Instant sugar-free/fat-free cheesecake pudding mix (3 points per box)

1 tsp. Vanilla (0 points)

3 Tablespoons Stevia (0 points)

Pam spray (0 points)

Optional: Flavorings (juice of one lemon or lime, some almond extract, a swirl of sugar-free chocolate syrup, etc.)

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, Stevia, vanilla extract, and any other flavoring you’d like.

  • Mix well.

  • Add the yogurt and pudding mix.

  • Mix well.

  • Lightly spray a pie dish with Pam, and pour the batter into the dish. Spread evenly.

  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

  • Chill for at least two hours before serving. 

Sugar Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I saw another recipe on Facebook and decided to try it. Sugar Free Banana Muffins. It would be banana bread if you put it in a loaf pan instead of muffin tins. I wasn’t terribly impressed with them – although when they were warm and right out of the oven, they were pretty good. But they’re also on the dry side – just a little – which is not how muffins should be.  

The base is a sugar free yellow cake mix. Then use very ripe bananas, eggs, and sugar-free chocolate chips.

I like these baking chips. It comes out to just a few chips per muffin. So I chopped them in order to spread out the chocolatey goodness more.

The muffins turned out more cakey than I prefer. I’m going to add some unsweetened applesauce next time to try to change the consistency and moistness.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Sugar Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 box Pillsbury Sugar-Free Yellow Cake Mix
3 eggs
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
81 grams Lily’s semi-sweet Chocolate chips (optional)

Mash the bananas, add the eggs, and mix well.
Add the cake mix and mix well.
Divide evenly among 12 muffin tins.

3 points (blue) per muffin without chocolate chips
4 points (blue) per muffin with chocolate chips

Recipe: Chili (Beef) – less than 1 point per serving

I just made some delicious chili – and it’s less than 1 WW/Blue point per serving. The recipe is at the end of this post. 

Once you have your ingredients assembled, this chili takes about 10 minutes to put together, and then you’re free to do something else while it simmers on the stove. Although it is less than 1 point per servings, I log it as 1 point to make sure I cover all my bases. I’ve used ground turkey to make 0 point chili, and that’s good. However, the beef gives it a little more flavor and more traditional chili taste. I’m willing to use a point for that!

Quick & Easy Chili

  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef (96% Lean)
  • 1 qt. beef broth
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cans beans (I use the Tri-Blend that Kroger sells – but most any bean will do – black beans, pinto, kidney, navy, great Northern, etc.)
  • Dried diced onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic (to taste) I get these at an Amish store near us. I keep plenty in my pantry because they make meal prep so much easier.  However, you can also substitute fresh veggies instead.
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, chili powder (to taste)

Brown the ground beef in a large pot. No oil or cooking spray is needed. Then dump everything else in. The amounts for the vegetables and seasonings depend on your taste. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, and it is ready to go.

4-Point Caramel Macchiato

One of my favorites at Starbucks is a Caramel Macchiato. However, usually after the first few sips, it becomes cloyingly sweet to me. So I started making them at home. The secret is leaving out the vanilla syrup that Starbucks adds in addition to the caramel syrup. The vanilla syrup is too much sweetness.
So I’d fill a glass up with ice, squirt caramel syrup over it (I like LOTS of caramel syrup), add 8-10 ounces of milk, and then pour a couple shots of espresso over it. Finally, I’d drizzle more caramel syrup on top. Yum! Before WW, I never measured the caramel syrup – I loved it creamy and sweet.
Since I started Weight Watchers, I wanted to skinny down the recipe. I still wanted it creamy and sweet, though. So today I made one using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and sugar-free caramel syrup.  It was a hit! It’s not as sweet as what I used to make during my non-measuring days – but it sure satisfied my sweet tooth.
Here’s the recipe:

4-Point Caramel Macchiato (Weight Watcher’s Blue Plan)

(1) Fill glass with ice
(2) Drizzle 1 tablespoon of sugar-free caramel syrup over the ice.
(3) Add 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (1 point)
(4) Pour 2 shots of espresso into the glass (0 points)
(5) Drizzle another tablespoon of sugar-free caramel syrup (2 Tablespoons of syrup is 3 points)
(6) Enjoy!

A Quick 3-Point Meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner)

I went through my points faster than usual today, and by dinner time, I had 3 points left. I try not to dip into my weekly points, and so I thought of a quick meal for 3 points.

I sprayed a small frying pan with butter-flavored PAM. Then, in a bowl, I mixed 3 eggs with salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of fat free Greek yogurt (0 points for all that). (Note: I always add something like yogurt or sour cream to scrambled eggs or if I’m making an omelet. As the yogurt/sour cream heats up, it releases steam which makes the eggs fluffier). On a small dish, I measured out exactly 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese (1 point), and removed the packaging of one laughing cow light Swiss cheese triangle (1-point). I very finely chopped a little bit of fresh onion (about 2 Tablespoons), and chopped up a fresh tomato – I removed the seeds and used a paper towel to pat it dry.  I added the onion and tomato to the small dish with the cheeses.  I toasted one slice of light bread (1 point). In the photo below, I used a small dessert plate. The quantities look larger than they are. The shredded cheese is exactly 1 tablespoon. 

This is a small dessert plate. It looks like more than it is. The shredded cheese is exactly 1 Tablespoon.

I turned the oven to broil. Then, on the stove, I cooked the egg in a frying pan like I would an omelet – using the spatula to move the cooked portion to the middle, letting the uncooked egg fill in the spaces – going round and round the frying pan. I kept the heat fairly low so the egg wouldn’t brown. Once it was mostly cooked, I sprinkled the onion, tomato, and cheeses on top, popped it under the oven broiler and let it finish cooking.

I guess that makes it a frittata. Ha! It was absolutely delicious. Yum yum!! Great meal – very quick – only 3 points – very tasty – very filling.

A Tasty Chocolate Muffin (3 Points)

I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin muffins with a chocolate cake mix. However, none of the local stores I tried had sugar-free chocolate cake mixes. So I ordered some from Amazon. Here is the result. They’re 3 points each on the WW Blue plan. Unlike the ones I made with a SF yellow cake mix, these taste like chocolate – not like pumpkin. These are definitely another win!

Again, I added to the 2 ingredients. I dumped the cake mix and the 15-ounce can of pumpkin into a mixing bowl. Then I added two eggs – to increase the protein value and to also make the batter less stiff. I used a hand mixer to blend it well. It filled the 12 cupcake paper well and rose nicely in the oven.

So my recipe is: a Pillsbury Sugar Free Devil’s Food cake mix, one 15-ounce can of 100% pure pumpkin, and 2 eggs. Blend well. Divide evenly between 12 cupcake tins. Bake about 20-22 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  
I ate one tonight, and so did Ron. I will leave out a couple to eat for breakfast tomorrow. The rest I will wrap individually and freeze for treats in the next couple weeks.  They’re really tasty!

A 3-Point Dinner

Tonight’s dinner was straight from the farm stand – except for the tuna. The ONLY points came from the light mayonnaise I used in the tuna salad. I also used a little Fage plain Greek yogurt in order to limit the amount of mayo.  It was a delicious dinner – and I couldn’t finish it all.

And here is how it is logged in my WW account.

Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins (3 points each)

I made these pumpkin muffins tonight because I happened to have the ingredients already on hand – and, more importantly, I had exactly 3 points left and I wanted something sweet and baked. These were REALLY good. The batter is very thick so it doesn’t spread out in the cupcake liner. You have to take the spoon and kinda spread it out.

The recipe that is shared so much on the WW Facebook pages just has the pumpkin and cake mix. However, I had a large can of pumpkin – so I added a little extra pumpkin and put the rest in the refrigerator for something else. I decided to add an egg (since that is a zero point WW food) to help the muffins rise better since I added extra pumpkin. I also wanted to make the batter a little less thick.

Pumpkin Muffins (3 WW blue points each) *****

1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz.)

1 Pillsbury sugar-free yellow cake mix

1 egg

optional: Spices, to taste (cinnamon, allspice, cloves) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Dump all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffins.

Bake for about 25 minutes.

So now I have 11 muffins left over. I plan to put a couple in the refrigerator for tomorrow and Saturday. Then I will individually freeze the others for a quick and sweet treat in the coming week or two. Ron may want to try them out, too.

I give this recipe 5 stars. Now I’m anxious to try it with a chocolate cake mix. Supposedly it ends up being almost brownie-like – and that sounds wonderful to me.