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?