Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip for 1 Weight Watchers Point



This is a low-point handy-dandy snack dip to have on hand for movie night in my house. This chips are not included, so eat the chips according to your caloric or points range.

I don't know about you, but I can never find shredded Monterey Jack cheese at my grocery store so I use a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack. I once bought a block of it and tried to shred it myself, but it wasn't pretty, as it was pretty moist and just clumped up all ugly and such.

INGREDIENTS:

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup picante sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup (1 oz.) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs fresh lime juice (I use a little less than a full tablespoon)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Partially mash the rinsed and drained black beans in a small dish. Set aside. Just ensure that all beans have been roughly broken.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and sautee for about 4 minutes.

Add beans, toamto, picante sauce, cumin and chili powder and cook about 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

Remove from heat. You can either stir IN the cheese or top each serving with a tad (but count those points as extra if you add extra and stir in some). Also stir in the cilantro and the lime juice. Serve warm or at room temperature with baked tortilla chips.

YIELDS: 13 servings of 2-Tbsp servings

POINTS: 1 point

Nutritional Information: 42 calories (21% from fat); 2.6g protein; 1g fat (0.4g saturated); 6.2g carbs; 1g fiber; 2mg cholesterol; 0.6mg iron; 136mg sodium; 30mg calcium






Monday, September 28, 2015

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirl Brownie Cake

The kids asked for something sweet as a treat after school this afternoon and thought up this one that I haven't made in a long time. It's only 4 Weight Watchers points per square out of a total of 16 squares/servings. I changed the recipe a little and got more of a brownie-like texture, so I'll share how I have it on my recipe card that I'm sure I got from Weight Watchers eons ago and then what I did to get a more brownie-like texture as well in parenthesis next to specific ingredients. I bet you can sub in some other nut butters as well to switch it up a little.



INGREDIENTS: 

1 Tbs all-purpose flour (I used Pam baking spray for the pan)
1/2 c. reduced-calorie stick butter, softened
1-1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large egg whites (I substituted 1/2 cup pasteurized egg product of all egg whites)
1 large egg (I substituted 1 egg yolk with egg-white product above)
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray and dust with the 1 Tbsp of flour (or Pam baking spray) and set aside.

Cream the butter and gradually add in the brown sugar until well blended on medium speed.  Add vanilla extract, egg whites (or egg product), whole egg (or 1 egg yolk), and beat well.

Mix the 1-1/2 cups flour with 1/2 tsp. baking powder in a separate bowl and slowly add into mixture until well blended.

Divide the mixture evenly, about 1-1/2 cups in 2 parts. Into one part mix in the 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa and into the other bowl mix in the 1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter (you will have two batters now).

Spoon each mixture alternately into the prepared pan. Bang on the counter to level and using a knife create swirls.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

YIELDS: 16 servings

POINTS: 4 points per square

Tuna And Wild Rice Salad



This dish was so Filling, I couldn't even Finish it, so if you are looking for a hunger buster, this is a good one!

INGREDIENTS:

Salad:
1 (6.2-oz.) pkg fast-cooking recipe of long-grain and wild rice such as Uncle Ben's
2 (6-oz.) cans low-salt albacore tuna in water, drained
1 (14-oz.) can quartered and chopped artichoke hearts, drained
1 (4.5-oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained

Dressing:
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp pepper

Base and Topping:
8 romaine lettuce leaves
12 cherry tomatoes, halved


INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the rice according to package directions but leave out the fat (butter or oils)

Combine the rice, tuna, artichokes, and mushrooms in a large bowl and toss gently.

Make the dressing by combining the green onions, vinegar, oil, mustard, and pepper in a jar with lid for shaking or a bowl in which you can whisk together. Add dressing to the tuna mixture., tossing gently again.

Serve salad by lining the dish with lettuce, placing 1-1/4 cups of rice mixture atop the lettuce, and topping with halved cherry tomatoes.

YIELDS: 4 servings

POINTS: 6 points per serving

INFORMATION:  298 calories (15% from fat); 22.4g protein; 5g Fat (0.7g saturated); 43.7g carb; 2.3g fiber; 17mg cholesterol; 3.7mg iron; 1208mg sodium; 77mg calcium)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Roast-Beef-Wrapped Asparagus Rolls



This is a great low-point snack at only 3 Weight Watchers points per 4 rolls, but I cheat a little and use a horseradish sauce that is pre-made and therefore count each roll as 1 point.

You'll need asparagus and thin-sliced roast beef.


To make the horseradish sauce from scratch, you'll need to mix the following ingredients together:

2 Tbs low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared horseradish

If you'd like to cheat like I do to save a little time, I use Woeber's Horseradish sauce that I find in the condiments isle at my grocery store.  I put either version into a baggie and snip the end off to apply it quickly in a steady bead along the inside (spreading it with a knife can be a bit of a pain).

To prepare the asparagus, you need to blanch it quickly in boiling water. Snap off the ends of your asparagus while the water heats to a boil and prepare a dish large enough to accommodate them filled with ice cubes and water to shock it.  Shocking stops the cooking process and maintains that nice crispness.  Once the water is boiling, place all asparagus in the water so that they are covered with water. (I use a large and deep skillet).  Boil for no more than 4 minutes, and sometimes less time depending on the thickness of your asparagus.  Once the water turns green, I pull one out, put it into the ice water, and quickly taste it for texture.  You don't want it to get mushy. A nice snap is what you are looking for. When ready, remove all asparagus from the boiling water and put straight into the ice water.  Let rest for a minute, then drain and dry.

Place a slice of roast beef down, place asparagus on top, and drizzle a thin line of horseradish sauce.  Then roll 'er up. That's it.  They are great cold.

If you have very thick asparagus spears, one stalk will do per roll, but feel free to double 'em up if they're particularly thin like I did in the above picture.

Enjoy!

YIELDS: 4 servings of 4 rolls

POINTS: 3 points per serving (4 rolls)

INFORMATION:  5g total fat; 1g saturated fat; 50mg cholesterol; 179mg sodium; 3g total carb; 1g dietary fiber; 19g protein; 15mg calcium

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Salmon with Mango Glaze



I have been hunting for eons for a great-tasting way to Fix this Family of mine salmon, and now I have one.  That also includes me.  I know we can get ourselves to eat anything if it suits our tastebuds just so, so this became a personal challenge to me.

I was given this recipe by a Friend.  There seems to be many versions online as well, including one with star anise, which I might try somewhere down the line.  I just kept basting this salmon about every 5 minutes with the glaze mixture reserving just enough to hit it once it was done and before serving.  This is delicious.  My husband is not a Fish Fan at all.  In Fact he groaned about dinner when he learned it was going to be salmon, but he loved this and said, "I could eat this all day long." So, take that to the bank as an endorsement!

6 oz of salmon is 7 points, and the only ingredient in the glaze to have points is the mango nectar at 3 points per 5-oz serving.  I would say this *may* add a single point to each 6-oz portion of salmon at the most, so I'm assigning this dish 8 points per serving.

Tip:  Save the remaining mango nectar into ice-cube trays for the next go-around with this recipe.  Each cube is one ounce, so fill up 5 cubes, Freeze and bag 'em up for later!

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. rice vinegar
5 oz. mango nectar (3 points)
2 6-oz salmon fillets about 1" thick or just one big piece like mine to divvy up later


INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until mixture reduces by about half.  Strain the mixture through a sieve so that all you have left is the liquid ingredients.

Line your broiler pan with tinfoil and spray with cooking spray.  Broil the salmon about 5 to 6 inches away from the heat.  Pull out and baste with the glaze about every 5 minutes if very thick piece like mine was or about every 3 minutes if thinner. The salmon is done when it Flakes easily with a Fork. Once done, apply one more basting of glaze and serve.

POINTS: 8 points (with glaze)


Friday, September 18, 2015

Chicken-Salad Stuffed Jumbo Shells for 8 Weight Watchers Points



One thing I miss when I'm trying to count calories, points, etc. is cold macaroni salad.  Granted, it's the tuna kind, but this is a very easy-to-make chicken version that even Mr. F liked. (I can't get him to try cold pasta salads, but since this didn't look like one, he gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised.  He asked for more. ;)

My version, as pictured, is a little different than the recipe listed below.  I left out the olives and used canned no-salt-added chicken breast, as well as regular Italian dressing. Sometimes I just don't have the patience for shredding chicken breasts.

INGREDIENTS:

6 uncooked jumbo pasta shells (not macaroni)
3 Tbs light mayo
2 Tbs fat-free Italian dressing
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 c. chopped cooked chicken breast
2/3 c. drained canned chopped artichoke hearts
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbs chopped ripe olives
6 fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare chicken salad filling first.  Combine the mayo, Italian dressing, and onion powder in a medium bowl and stir well.  Add in the chicken, artichokes, bell pepper, and olives and stir well.

Cook the pasta shells for about 10-13 minutes according to package directions and drain well.

Line each shell with a fresh basil leaf and then add in about 2-1/2 to 3 Tbs of chicken salad mixture. You can serve at room temperature or chill well before serving.  Top with some salt and pepper and serve atop a bed of lettuce.

YIELDS: 6 shells or 2 servings of 3 shells each

POINTS: 8

Nutritional Information:  306 calories (25% from fat); 24.5g protein; 8.4g fat (2.3g saturated); 31.1g carbs; 2.7g fiber; 81mg cholesterol; 3.1mg iron; 624mg sodium; 62mg calcium

It's a Warm, Nutty, Peach Shortcake Dessert for 4 Points!



Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.  Such a nice, warm treat.  I call it peach shortcake!  The kids and Mr. F had their's with a bit of Fat-Free whipped cream.  Mine without.  The whole batch comes out to 16 points, so I divided it into 5 servings for only 3 points per serving.  At 4 servings per batch, it's 4 points per serving. Add a point if needed should you use the whipped topping!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. low-fat biscuit and baking mix, such as Bisquick
1/4 cup sugar, divided
2 Tbs chopped pecans toasted
3 Tbs skim milk
1/8 tsp butter extract
2 c. drained canned sliced peaches in juice
2/3 cup white grape juice (I used apple juice since I had that handy)
1/4 tsp applie-pie spice


INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine the baking mix, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the toasted pecans in a bowl.  Add the milk and the butter extract and mix just until moist, then set aside.

Combine the remaining sugar, the peaches, the grape juice, and the apple-pie spice in a medium saucepan (that you can later cover) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Drop the dough into 4 mounds on top of the boiling peach mixture and cover.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 8 minutes or until dumplings are done.

Spoon peach mixture evenly into 4 dessert dishes and top each with dumplings.

You can store the leftover peaches in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

YIELDS:  4 servings

POINTS:  4

Nutritional Information:  189 calories (17% from fat); 2.6g protein; 3.6g fat (0.4g saturated); 38.1g carbs; 0.6g fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 1.2mg iron; 184mg sodium; 38mg calcium


Raspberry-Chocolate Floats for 2 Weight Watchers Winning Points



This is such a yummy treat for ONLY 2 Weight Watchers Winning Points!  The whole Family loved it.  I need to keep searching for a sparking water brand that does not have artificial sweetener in it because I don't like that taste, but other than that, this was good!  Granted, it could get expensive with the price of raspberries these days, but I have my own raspberry patch in my own backyard and it's raspberry season! So when I managed to pick 3 whole cups of raspberries today, this was on the menu this evening! I used black raspberry-flavored sparkling water and used low-fat chocolate frozen yogurt.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 c. fresh raspberries
4 tsp sugar
2 c. raspberry-flavored or plain sparkling water, chilled
1 c. chocolate low-fat ice cream (total, as only 1/4 c per serving)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place raspberries in a food processor and process 15 seconds or until smooth.  Now for the annoying part, strain out the seeds in a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and toss out those pesky seeds.  Add the sugar into the puree and stir well.  Set aside until sugar is well incorporated and no longer gritty.

Combine 2 tablespoons raspberry puree and 1/2 cup sparkling water in each of 4 glasses and stir gently.  Add 1/4 cup ice cream to each glass. Serve immediately.

YIELDS: 4 servings

POINTS: 2 points per serving

Nutritional Information:  94 calories (17% from fat); 1.9g protein; 1.8g fat (0.8mg sat); 18.5g carb; 0g fiber; 5mg cholesterol; 0.3mg iron; 0 mg sodium; 60mg calcium

Winner Winner Hoisin Pork Dinner!



Oh Em Gee.  This is delicious.  If you're looking for a new way to prepare pork tenderloin, this is it, and for only 7 Weight Watchers Winning Points. I chose to use brown rice instead of the long-grain rice as listed.

Pictured with it is also a recipe for Cracked Pepper Linguine that I'll share in another post.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs dark sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2"-thick slices

6 Tbs water
1/3 c. dry sherry
3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs hoisin sauce

2 c. hot cooked long-grain rice, cooked without salt or fat
1/4 c sliced green onions

cilantro sprigs (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS:

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, add oil, and place over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the pepper and garlic and saute 1 minute.

Add pork and cook 4 minutes per side or until browned.  Remove pork from skillet and wipe skillet clean with a paper towel.

Combine the water, sherry, cilantro, and hoisin sauce in skillet and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Return pork to the sauce-skillet, turning to coat well.

Place rice on a platter. Place pork atop the rice and spoon the hoisin sauce from pan over top of pork medallions.  Sprinkle with green onions and garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired.

YIELDS: 4 servings (serving size 3 ounces of pork and 1/2 cup rice)

POINTS: 7 points

Per Serving:  303 calories (23% from fat); 27.1g protein; 7.9g fat (sat 1.9g);  29.1g carb; 1g fiber; 79mg cholesterol; 2.6mg iron; 195mg sodium; 34mg calcium

Friday, June 5, 2015

BBQ Chicken Tostadas Weight Watcher Recipe for only 8 points!

I'm pretty sure I got this one out of an old Weight Watchers recipe book that I have in my personal Favorites Folder on a card now.  If you like Flavor...this is a good one for you.  I can seriously just eat the tomato-cilantro-red onion topping by itself.

This is a Family-Friendly meal when you leave off the toppings and serve up with only a thin bean layer, a BBQ chicken layer, and a Monterey Jack cheese layer for little ones. 

Picture sans sour cream and cilantro sprigs (just Forgot)

Today, I hadn't eaten anything all day, so I Figured it would be safe to have two of these for dinner. I only had enough left for two. Today also happened to be our Buffet-Pick-Yer-Poison Day that I talk about here.  Mr. F....what can I tell you about him, other than he can eat whatever the hell he wants and remains thin.  We pulled out the leftover beef taco leftovers, chicken taco leftovers (have both on the same night for a taco night), leftover beef stroganoff, the leftover lone-remaining spicy cod cake, and the supplies for making two of these BBQ chicken tostadas that were going to be for me.  That man ate a big chicken taco, the leftover beef stroganoff, and as I photographed this single tostada in the image above, he grabbed himself the other one! I couldn't even believe my eyes. It's just not fair I tell ya.Oh well, one is actually enough and two would have stuffed me.


Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of all Fat and cut into bite size strips
1 cup prepared BBQ sauce
1 (4.5-oz) can chopped mild green chiles, drained
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced (I just dice)
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
8 (6") Fat-Free Flour tortillas
1 cup canned Fat-Free refried beans
8 scallions, Finely chopped
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup light sour cream

Instructions:

Combine the chicken, barbecue sauce, and chiles in a large nonstick skillet and bring to a Full boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender and cooked through (about 25 minutes). Remove from heat.

Combine the tomatoes, onion, chopped cilantro, garlic, vinegar, oil, and salt in a medium bowl until blended. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the tortillas on the baking sheet. Spread each tortilla with the beans and top with the chicken mixture. Add scallions and cheese to the top.

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly (about 15 minutes).

Top each tostada with the tomato mixture, sour cream, and cilantro sprigs.

Points: 8 per tostada
Servings: 7

Per Serving:  358 calories, 12 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 87 mg cholesterol, 864 mg sodium, 27 g total carbs, 4 g fiber, 33 g protein, and 195 mg calcium.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Poached Egg-Arugula Meal Salad for Only 6 Weight Watchers points!




I adore this meal salad. I can whip it up at any time of the day (and I just did)....breakfast, lunch, or dinner...take your pick. I can also prepare it with one egg for a single serving or double it up accordingly.


You can prepare your egg so that the yolk is runny in a number of ways, obviously, but I prefer to poach mine to save any points preventing pan-stick while saving the most yolk as possible.  The egg and egg yolk can be mixed into the greens to accent/blend with the olive-oil-vinegar dressing or be spread across the toast like I prefer to do to then cut up and have a little sumpin' sumpin' in every single bite.

Salad Ingredients:

1 poached egg for 2 points
1 slice of 1-point whole wheat toast for 1 point
1/2 Tbs. of whipped Land O Lakes sweet cream, salted butter for 1 point
1 ounce of baby arugula for zero points
1 ounce of shredded fresh Parmesan cheese for 3 points or 0.5 ounce for 1.5 points (optional)
salt
pepper

Dressing Ingredients:
equal parts white wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil

For one serving:

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil for 4 points
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar for 0 points


Directions:

Toss 1 ounce of baby arugula with HALF of the dressing for 2 total points.  Place your buttered toast atop the arugula (now at 4 points) and the poached egg atop the toast (now at 6 points). Salt and pepper to taste. If points allow, you can add freshly grated Parmesan cheese accordingly.  If I were to add about 0.5 ounces, it would bring the total up to 7.5 points and a whole ounce up to 9 points.

If points allow, you can double up the eggs, butter and toast atop a 2-ounce, zero-point bed of baby arugula and use the whole single serving dressing batch above for a total of 12 points withOUT the cheese. Topping THIS with a whole ounce of freshly grated Parmesan cheese comes out to 15 points.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bacon-Spinach Meal Salad with Apple Cider Vinegar-Honey Dressing Recipe



This salad is a winner. It is very Filling and satisfying as well.  This easy-to-make sweet-and-sour dressing makes a lot, so make sure to whisk it up to incorporate the honey well and store in a reusable container/dressing carafe.



Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
pepper to taste

   Instructions: Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a reusable storage container/dressing carafe that you can shake thereafter before each use. Grand total of points for this dressing is 31 points.  There are about 11 tablespoons of dressing per batch of dressing. Each tablespoonful of 
dressing, therefore, comes out to about 3 points (rounded up).If you add more than 1 Tbsp. per serving, add 3 points on accordingly.



Salad Ingredients:

5-oz. container of organic baby spinach
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced or chopped
1/2 cup largely grated Parmesan cheese
7 slices of cooked and chopped bacon pieces

   Instructions:  Place all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss. Grand total for all ingredients in 
   points for this salad is 14 points.  Divided into 8 servings means each serving equals 1.75 points, so
  2 points per serving (rounded up).

Serves: Salad serves 8
Points: 3 points per tablespoon of dressing and 2 points per serving of salad for a total of 5 points

Grilled Cajun-Seasoned Chicken and Peppers on Quinoa Recipe-5 Weight Watcher Points Per Serving



I have made this recipe twice, and the second time tasted different than the first. I think the difference is in the brand of quinoa.  The first brand I just cooked up according to package directions.  The second batch I rinsed and scrubbed the quinoa first.  This second batch I was not as Fond of as the First, but it was still good, so don't give up on trying quinoa if you didn't like it your First time out. I also got a new grill that doesn't seem to want to grill my Foods like I am accustomed to....seems to be lacking in imparting an actual grilled Flavor.

I had an abundance of yellow bell peppers I bought on sale so used all yellow peppers in the photo above. The recipe actually calls for green and red bell peppers though.

How on earth can you beat 5 points for a dinner!?!? That definitely leaves room for dessert! I therefore have to share. You can always eat this as a light lunch as well.



Cajun Rub Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. no-salt-added Southwest chipotle seasoning
2 tsp. light brown sugar
2 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
cayenne pepper to taste/preference

Grilling Ingredients:

4 (4-oz.) boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 small red onion, thickly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
1 tsp. canola oil
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions

Instructions:

Basically, to get this to come out at the same time, you need to have everything prepped First.  You'll preheat your grill, start your quinoa on high. When quinoa comes to a Full boil, you turn it down to cook for about 15 minutes on it's own, covered, like rice.  Start your chicken grilling first at this time.  Once you Flip your chicken to cook the other side, add your vegetables to the grill, as they cook in half the time of the chicken.  The quinoa will stay warm for a while, so you have a little wiggle room. 

Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray and preheat grill. Prepare the rub mixture as noted above and rub onto both sides of each chicken breast piece.

Grill chicken 7 to 8 minutes per side or until an instant thermometer registers 165 degrees F.

Brush bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno pieces with oil (wear gloves for jalapeno).

Start your quinoa, which takes around 15 minutes on the stove-top and start to grill the vegetables toward the end of the quinoa cooking time for 5 minutes per side or until crisp tender.

Remove vegetables from grill and coarsely chop on a cutting board. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now plate the finished quinoa on a platter, place grilled chicken down the center, and place the chopped-grilled veggies along the sides.

Serves: 4
Points: 5 points per serving

Nutritional Info: 290 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 70 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 31 g protein. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Weigh-In



Jumped on the scale today, a Friday, to see how I've done the past 5 days without my points calculator and not having enough time to enter calories for my homemade meals into MyFitnessPal....I'm down 2 pounds since Monday and weighed in at 230.75. Color me happy with that!

I think I like weighing-in on Fridays because if something goes awry over the weekend, I have time to recover and save a little "Face".

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mixed Berries and Maple Cream Dessert Recipe for 7 to 9 Weight Watchers Points





This Fruit-based dessert is a Family-Favorite in our household.  The points can vary as little or as much as you would like by the number of total servings you divide it into.  The original recipe indicates it serves Four, but since there are Five of us in our house, it serves Five.  The entire recipe came out to 36 points, so when divided into Four servings you get 9 points per serving, but when divided into Five servings, you get 7 points per serving. You can probably lessen the powdered sugar in the whipping cream and and leave out the nuts to trim it out a little Further as well.

Because it makes me Feel like I have come a long way in my domestic diva journey, I want to brag a little. The blueberries come from a Friend's Farm, and the maple syrup and raspberries from my own back yard. I Freeze the raspberries each Fall and use throughout the remainder of the year and make Freezer jam with them as well. This is my second year making homemade maple syrup from my own maple tree, and it is delicious! Toot toot! ;) 


Fruit Layer Ingredients:

1 (6 oz.) container fresh blackberries (about 1-1/2 cups) (I frequently used raspberries instead)
1-1/3 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. grated orange peel

Maple Cream Layer Ingredients:

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or honey (I use maple syrup)
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, whole shelled pistachios, toasted sliced almonds (I use almonds)

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine all the berries, sugar, and orange peel and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small bowl stir together sour cream and maple syrup and set aside.  In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer beat the whipping cream just until slightly thickened and add in the powdered sugar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.  Then fold in the sour cream/maple syrup mixture.

In each dessert cup layer even amounts of the berry mixture, the maple cream, and if desired 1 Tbs. nuts. Come back in with the berry mixture, the nuts, and top off with some more cream. Serve immediately.

Servings: 4 or 5
Points: 9 for each of 4 servings or 7 for each of 5 servings

Per Serving: 375 calories, 23 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, and 4 g protein.




Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekly Weigh In - Down 1.75 Pounds



I tried some new recipes last week, which I loved, but I am not able to share just yet.  I still can't Find my Weight Watchers slider/points calculator, so I just eyeballed it or winged it last week.

I lost 1.75 pounds last week--possibly more.  I weighed myself today at 10:30 a.m., so I could be a tad heavier than when I First wake up and run down to the scale.  Considering I Flew by the seat of my pants last week without being able to Figure my points, I'm happy with the 1.75-pound Figure.

I also spent most of the week with unplanned meals and cranky-to-be-back-to-school kids.  I ate some Fast Food the day I had to run my daughter to an oral surgeon for a consult an hour away after school because her wisdom teeth are coming in.  From there, we visited my sister and my mother and got back home around 10 p.m.

I also had a naked chicken burrito from Qdoba during the week, which I know is okay on days where I've kept my breakfast and lunch points minimal.  Naked means sans tortilla wrap.

So with two Fast Food nights for me, no points calculator, cooking some new recipes, drinking pop, and weighing in at mid-morning I consider an almost two-pound loss a huge positive.  There, I think that is the end of my diet confessional.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekly Weigh-In Post Vacation

Welp.....big ol' sigh.  I've just returned from vacation with my Family and my parents.  My mother is a cooking Fiend.  I expected what I Found on the scale this morning.  We ate Fast Food on the drive down and the drive back.



The drive down was better, as we ate a Chick Fil A dinner in which I had a chicken wrap, Fries, and a pop.  The Following morning I ate nothing, as I had driven us to Atlanta from Michigan and was Fast asleep.  The Dole Shakers that I packed for everybody didn't stay Frozen even that long, so that planned low-point breakfast was a Flop anyway.  I know that I said it would be easy to Find a grocery story to buy them when needed, but I Forgot to Factor in my obsessive husband....Mr. F wants to drive straight through stopping only for bathroom breaks and gas refills. I have no idea what the others ate since I was out like a light. We ordered pizza as soon as we arrived at our rental because we had to unpack and get organized before we could go grocery shopping.  However, my mom had brought all the groceries into the house because she travels with only my dad and has room in her car. We drive separately via two different directions, and they usually tack on extra travel and sightseeing in other states on their way down.

I tried to eat according to my plan.  I took my oatmeal and bought green smoothie ingredients so that I only had to worry about dinner, but my mom had other plans.  I had even taken a number of bags of the SnaPea Crisps I love for snacking, of which I didn't do a lot of. I was too Full all of the time. I made it through the First Few days saying no thank you just Fine, but then I ran out of what I needed and mom had taken control of the refrigerator.  I actually only cooked one of my own meals, Pig on a Stick, a couple of salads, etc.  I resisted her homemade Belgian waffles piled high with pie Fillings and whipped cream until one theme park day we returned to the car at 10 p.m. to eat the chicken Caesar wraps I had planned out to discover Mr. F had covered the packaged wraps in ice and they were ruined by the water. I was starving and therefore ate one of the nutty bars and Cheetos bags he had packed. That night, at 11 p.m. as we all showered park grime off of our bodies, my mom made us all one of her Belgian waffles, and I ate it. I was too tired, too hungry, and too sore from walking all day long to care. She had bought two different kinds of ice cream.  I have no idea what Flavors they were. I didn't care to look and therefore didn't have any of that. So, overall, there were nonscale victories and just plain diet Failures.

I'm really shocked at the condition of produce in Florida.  I just can't get over how poor it is in the grocery stores.  The apples I bought for my smoothies were brown in the middle, as if they were going bad from the middle out somehow.  The avocadoes, which we can usually Find down there were bad as well.  I've never seen greener bananas in my life anywhere, not even in Michigan.

We had three park days in which I packed our lunches and in which we ate dinner at the park one day. The other two park days we waited until we got home to eat a dinner, and the traffic varied, so one night it was 10 p.m. and the other 11 p.m., and we all know how eating a dinner at that time of night derails weight loss. I had originally planned to take salads with me for my lunch, but my parents liked my salads and ate them.  Just after mid-vacation, I threw in the towel altogether.  I didn't go all ham on anything. I just quit thinking about it and quit worrying about what number I would get to report to you today.

I, as of today, weighed in at 234.5 pounds, which is a 3.75-pound gain since the last weigh-in I recorded on the blog, but 5.3 pounds more than the last recorded weight on my tracker at the beginning of March. That isn't too bad considering it probably isn't all vacation related, and I ate enough Fast Food on that trip than I have in months and care to ever again. I haven't really tracked any calories via MyFitnessPal or counted my points either because I can't Find my points slider right now.

Prior to vacation I had been suffering from a wry neck for months.  It has now worked it's way down into my arm via tingling, but the last two days has included numbness in my fingertips as well.  I'm tired of waiting for it to be completely Fixed and plan to restart my two-mile walking routine again tonight, weather permitting. I'm just glad I can move my neck again. Maybe actual movement via exercise will help because sitting around waiting for it to get better isn't working. While on vacation, I got what I had been calling my annual theme-park rash.  My ankles are itchy and sore.  I'm hoping that is not the case when I set out on my walk this evening, but when I got out of the car to pump gas yesterday after being in the car all day, it was the case and I Found myself waddling and grimacing. 

So that's what I've been up to since the beginning of March.....the chiropractor visits for a wry neck, arm tingling, fingertip numbness, a theme-park rash, a vacation derailment, and a cooking-Fiend of a mother who cooks Southern style.

Some will consider a painful and debilitating wry neck and a vacation excuses, but I don't.  I consider them obstacles and challenges.  How are you doing?


Monday, March 9, 2015

Started March off with a Bang

So my mother-in-law is in the hospital. They don't know what is wrong with her and are still trying to Figure it out. They are moving her to another hospital even Further away today, but that means Fewer visits by Mr. F. who has been running around to different counties, cities, and even states for work.

I have taken up meal skipping again during this busy time and am starting back to a calmer day today. However, I have to confess what I just did.  I ran out to the car to move the Easter goodies from the car to the storage room in the basement while the kids are away and I just grabbed a chocolate-peanut-butter egg like it was nothing.  I have to get back into the consciousness required to eating an actual meal. That egg has a points value and that egg has a caloric content.  I will just have to adjust my day to accommodate that. DH is going to be given the key to the storage room just in case I'm tempted Further. How do you plan on handling the Easter candy temptations?

I Feel it is important, however, to share with those of you counting points values that it has been my experience that even when counting up your points to hit your range that includes crap/junk items, it affects the level of success you will have for the week.  Yes, you met your points goal and stayed within your range, and you may even still lose some weight, but it will be less than had you not eaten the crap!


I have to say that despite having a bad week with plans to start today off right, it is because I look at each day as a new day that I was able to view this morning's mishap with the Easter candy as the bad MOMENT of today and not add it onto the past week. It ends when we end it!

As an aside, I tried out the new Firefox video chat Feature and put the link to a private chat on Twitter for anybody who may have wanted to talk motivation, inspiration, tips, etc. (which rendered it public, duh).  First off, let me say, "My Bad." because the only person to take that invite was a mentally ill person who has probably been sexually abused throughout his entire childhood come on with penis in hand ready to star in his own show. I called the police. I can't believe THIS is what my children will face on the internet at any point in their lives, even when they are adults.  Once I realized my own error, however, I had a good lesson to share with them, so all was not lost. So, for your information, just remember that setting up chats requires a private invite to people you recognize. Even then, there are no guarantees, but it's a step in the safety direction. So, if you are Feeling like you need a little verbal support, as I do on occasion, hit me up on the Facebook page or a private Twitter message and we can do it.

I got a good laugh last night when I logged onto my Facebook page to see a Nairobi man dropped me his digits with his relationship status as single. lmbo Still laughing. I guess I found it so Funny because of the picture to which he attached his message....the Before picture found in this post in profile only....with the horrid hair....without makeup....with the huge muffin top.  Mr. F. says, "Great, now you've become a Chubby Chaser magnet."  Are you all who have made your journey public experiencing that on a regular basis? I'm not so sure I'm cut out for the internet, but it is helping me Feel more accountability than without it, so, at least for now, I will stick with it.



I still have 3 weeks to "hit it outta the park" as I typed up on March 1! One bad week is all bad week. A bad day only lasts as long as you allow it to!

Monday, March 2, 2015

First Weight-In of March 2015

I had Mr. F take some before photos of me in regular clothes.  See this shirt? It's the shirt that I want to make look Freakin' sexy.  That's right....make a T-shirt sexy. lol

The shorts are maternity shorts that I wore when pregnant with my now 17-year-old. Yikes. The belly size is about right though.



So here I am, in all my Freakin' glory. I didn't even bother to do my hair or makeup for these photos.  I don't recognize myself. I don't want to be recognized. I hide. I never go out. I never buy myself clothes. I don't hate myself. I actually like myself. I just don't like the body "me" is living in.

I weighed myself in January at 235.75 pounds. I began, in earnest, my dieting after some organization that I knew would get in my way and derail me on February 9 at 233.5 pounds.  Today, I weigh 228.75 pounds, so I am 7 pounds down in these photos. I find it strange that I seem to have lost more weight with minimal effort before I began on my "start" date though. At any rate.... F-O-R-W-A-R-D!



Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tomorrow is a New Day

Soooo, I spent the last couple days Forcing myself to accept the Fact that I won't be losing 6 pounds a week doing my Weight Watchers plan in my 40s like I did in my 20s when Mr. F walks in the door with a movie and candy treats for all last night.  He is a huge movie buff and supposedly Forgot that I'm not eating junk.

Well, since I had reached my Weight Watchers points for the day at that point, I took a bite of one of the Heath bars that came in this king size package and told him to hide the rest for another bite another day or some when points allowed.  See, in my mind, I know I have a WW recipe for toffee that I've made in the past and I Figured one bite wouldn't hurt.  Only that weakened me instead.  I held out for most of the time it took everyone else to eat their sweet treats, and then I caved. Ate the whole package of two bars.

I had been losing anywhere from 0 to 0.25 pounds a day....then this morning I get on the scale expecting to see either no change or a fraction of a gain, having weighed myself yesterday, and low and behold, a whole 0.75 pounds are gone.  How that happened, I have no idea, but if I try that again and the results are the same again, I may not ignore that and do it more often. lol

Today, the kids had no school and an orthodontics appointment 1.5 hours away, so I drank a green smoothie for breakfast and grabbed a packet of instant oatmeal to eat at my mom's house after the appointment for lunch. I planned a trip to the meat market out by her house where I can stock my Freezer with meats for 6 months on the cheap, so cooler in the back of the car Filled, I headed to her house. .

When I got to my mom's, only my dad was there.  We visited for a Few and then drove to see my mom at work where she always has leftover donuts waiting for the kids.  I didn't eat that oatmeal, as I wasn't hungry and therefore didn't even think about it until I saw it slide across the dashboard on a turn during the trip home.  My mom tried to send that massive box of donuts home with my kids and called me a meanie for not allowing it.  I am not their Favorite person right now.

I ate a couple of beef jerky sticks on the way home, had a bite of a FlatOut Pepperoni Pizza the hubs made for everyone, 3 ounces of leftover pork tenderloin, and drank some pop and then separated and packaged up 40 pounds of chicken breasts, ground sirloin, and bacon with my FoodSaver.  There is more, but nothing else required separating before Freezing. Not sure where that leaves me today. Doesn't sound so bad when I type it, but I literally have no idea what calories or points was in what I did eat today. It happens, but I won't let it derail me.  A bad day is just a bad day and tomorrow is always a new day.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Favorite Crunch-Fix Snack for Only 2 Weight Watchers points!

I have tried three of the Snapea Crisps Flavors offered.  My Favorite would have to be the Wasabi-Ranch, but all three are delish.  You better make sure you are capable of putting the serving size into a snack bowl and avoid walking around with the bag because you'll eat the whole bag.  The good news is that even if you do eat the whole bag, at 3-1/2 servings total, approximately, per bag, you won't go over 6-7 points. lol

These really satisfy the Fiending for a crunch/snack moments! It's definitely a Fab Grab!

You'll have to excuse the photo.  I can't seem to keep them in the house long enough to get a photo of the package unopened. Somebody keeps beating me to it, right honey? (Mr. F I'm sure)



The other good news is that this brand/line of snacks touts the following Facts:

* baked     * less Fat & sodium     * more Fiber     * higher levels of protein & vitamin B
* gluten-Free     *lower glycemic index     AND
**** 100% LESS SNACKER'S REMORSE ****

How great is that? ;) Check out their website for yourself for other Flavors I have yet to try!

Chicken Salad-Arugula Pita Sandwich for only 4 Weight Watchers points

When I'm in a pinch, I think back to what was easy about the NutriSystem plan when I tried that, and the chicken salad pouches that I would add a little more chicken to was one of them. I just counted the extra chicken I added to it as a PowerFuel because it was otherwise a little runny for my taste. 

When I was doing NutriSystem, I would often look at the Food provided and ponder how I never ate the things that they themselves were providing me when I dieted, especially a sweet every single day. But chicken salad sandwiches? I could do that, so I am. I have never eaten sweets every single day, so I'm not doing that, and I'm Fine with that.

Yes, you can use chicken from rotisserie chickens, chicken breasts, roasted chickens, etc., for chicken salad sandwiches but when in a bind and needing to move quickly/short on time, canned chicken works well. I consider a bind the moments when my kids want something other than what I could or should consume myself, so they get their lunch, and I get a low-points-value lunch in a snap.


The canned chicken will tell you there are approximately 2-1/2 servings per can, but when weighing the drained meat alone, I come up with an average of around 2.75 ounces and therefore use the whole can in one single sandwich.

I use about an ounce of diced onion and 0.5 ounces of arugula.  Normally, I wouldn't weigh the arugula and just eyeball the amount I want to put in, but since I'm counting calories via MyFitnessPal, I Figured that all out for 0.5 ounces.  Arugula is 0 points on my Weight Watchers plans though, so eyeballing would be fine too. I just put it all into a container and mix it up like so.



Then I just fill up half of a wheat pita, and voila! Nice, big, Flavorful, and Filling lunch for only 4 Weight Watchers points. Heck, for 4 points, this can serve as a Filling snack as well!



Ingredients:

Half of a 7" wheat pita
5 oz. can of no-salt-added canned chicken breast
2 Tbsp. low-fat mayo
0.5 oz. baby arugula
1 oz. diced onion
salt and pepper to taste

Servings: 1
Points: 4

Nutritional Information (Approximate): 178 calories, 3 g total fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 484 mg sodium, 24.5 g total carb, 1.2 dietary fiber, <3 .3="" 12="" g="" i="" protein="" sugars="">

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vanilla-?-Berry Chia Seed Pudding for Either 4 or 5 Weight Watcher Points






This dessert and snack recipe can be either 4 or 5 Weight Watcher points depending on how many servings you divide it into....4 servings or 5 servings. I'll include the nutritional information and points for both options.

While you begin with a vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt, you can switch up the extrat Flavoring for a little hint of something else.  In the mood for more maple flavoring? How about coconut, almond, or extra vanilla?

You need a minimum of 8 hours to allow the chia seeds to set up in the yogurt-almond milk mixture, at which point it become a tapioca-like consistency.

Pudding Ingredients:

1 cup Vanilla-Flavored 100% NonFat Chobani Greek Yogurt
1 cup Vanilla-Flavored Blue Diamond Almond Milk
1 tsp. flavored extract (vanilla, maple, coconut, almond, etc.)
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. 100% Pure Maple Syrup

*1/4 cup chia seeds* 

*Mix above ingredients in bowl with wire whisk. Now whisk in 1/4 cup chia seeds. Allow to sit on counter until seeds begin to set up rather than sink. Once thickened to where seeds stay put, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Topping Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
4 tsp. or 1-1/3 Tbsp. 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Mix topping ingredients into a bowl and allow to the syrup to break down the fruit somewhat creating juices for a couple of hours. Don't be afraid to try adding other berries into the mix, such as raspberries, as well. Just make sure to refigure your points! After dividing your pudding mixture up into either 4 or 5 equal servings, divide the nutty-fruit topping up accordingly and place on top. You can mix it all up together too!

Servings: 4
Points: 5 points each
Nutritional Information:  286.5 calories, 7 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 2.5 mg cholesterol, 68.25 mg sodium, 49.75 g carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 8.75 g protein

Servings: 5
Points: 4 points each
Nutritional Information: 229.2 calories, 5.5 total fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 54.6 mg sodium, 39.8 g carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, 7 g protein






Friday, February 20, 2015

BBQ Chicken Pizza for Only 7 Weight Watchers Points





This pizza can be made for Fewer than 7 points as well, but I went with the maximum I could Fit onto one FlatOut Pizza Thin Crust Flatbread. I also had Rustic White, so I will be checking for a whole wheat or whole grain variety next shopping trip. It also only has approximately 44 mg of cholesterol.

It can be heated any number of ways.  You can follow the package directions on the back of the FlatOut package, or bake for a spell until the cheese slices melt and then broil, or exclusively broil.  I broiled my FlatOut pizza crust until lightly brown on both sides.  You have to watch it very closely. Once turned over, the middle will brown through quite quickly. I burned my first one.

A quick tip for the chicken breast is snagging some when you have a roasted chicken handy from the breast portion without skin.  I buy a roasted chicken each week from my local grocery store to have on hand for myself in a pinch. The kids like the meat in a chicken quesadilla too.

I then put on the BBQ sauce, followed by the chicken, red onion, sliced mushrooms, arugula and cheese slices and broil again, and again watch it very closely. I use a pizza cutter to cut it into 4 pieces, as it's much too large to eat as is.

Here are the ingredients with weights applied to reach 7 points:

1 FlatOut Thin Crust Pizza Flatbread Rustic White
2 Tbsp. Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce
3 oz. cooked chicken breast
1 to 1.5 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 oz. diced red onion
0.5 oz. arugula
3 slices Kraft Slim Cut Mozzarella cheese slices

That's it! It's quite satisfyingly Filling as well!

Servings: 1

Estimated Nutritional Information: Calories 350.5; Fat 9.5 g; Saturated Fat 4 g; Cholesterol 44 mg; Carbs 43.38 g; Fiber 3.63 g

TBT...My Momma Was Right

When I look back at old photos, I can't help but wonder what the hell I was thinking.  I used to think I was Fat before I was actually Fat.



In this photo, I'm turning my head quickly because I was camping and felt Far from Fabulous, to say the least.  I felt like the part of the shirt you can read...UGH! I have naturally curly hair, and pre-Flat-iron invention, humidity was my worst enemy.  It still is a nemesis of mine, but now that I can hit my bangs with a Flat iron, it helps to maintain a "Hey, it's humid!" kinda day rather than wandering around looking like I got a bad hair cut because back then it Forced my hair to curl up severely. In this photo, I weighed about 127 to 129 pounds and was 19 years old. I thought I was Fat then.

I remember looking at other people's legs sitting next to me and thinking mine looked so huge compared to theirs. Now I see skinny arms and legs that I didn't feel were skinny back then. Was I just hanging out with little thin people? Perhaps, my body image was just simply warped.

I weighed 170 pounds when I graduated high school one year earlier and felt the exact same way.  I lost all that weight in one year because I ventured out on my own at 18 and was working two jobs...executive assistant by day and sports bar waitress by night. I ate Fast Food once a day and lost 40 pounds that quickly without even trying. Wish that worked now. lol

Here I am on the beach at the same weight Frantically scrambling to cover up to avoid being photographed. Boy how I wish I had let that photograph happen today.

 See what I mean about the bangs/hair?

I wonder today....at 100 pounds heavier, will I recognize that I'm thin when I reach my goals?  Has being Fat Fixed what I now recognize was a warped body image of yesteryear?

I hear one thing tonight as I type this post....the words of my mother.  She used to say to me, "One day, you're going to wish you were THAT Fat." She was right.