Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mexican Chili with Chipotle Cheese Toasts for 6 Weight Watchers Points


This old Weight Watchers recipe I got from a 2009 recipe book is yummy and quick.  Mr F LOVED it.  Sadly, the nutritional information does not include the sugar content and I'm unable to use the Weight Watchers recipe builder since it crashes my computer, so I don't have the Smart Points right now for it.

The kids, however, wouldn't go near this.  They're scared of the beans for some reason. What's a girl to do? I even tried to declare it tasted like a cheeseburger if you took a bite WITH the toast, but nope.  #PICKYKIDPROBLEMS

The chili alone is 4 points and the toast alone is 2, so together you have 6 points total.

Good luck finding Chipotle cheddar cheese slices because my store certainly doesn't carry them.  I went for regular cheddar and sprinkled some Chipotle seasoning on the bread slices before I topped them with cheese.


CHILI INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground round
1 c. prechopped onion
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained
1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup hot water
2 Tbs chili powder
1 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano


CHILI INSTRUCTIONS:

Cook beef and onion in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble.  Drain, if necessary, and return beef mixture to pan.

Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

YIELD:  6 servings
SERVING SIZE: about 1 cup
POINTS:  4

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  CAL 215 (31% from fat); FAT 7.5 g (sat 2.9 g); PRO 17.2 g; CARB 19.1 g; FIB 3.9 g; CHOL 37 mg; IRON 3.4 mg; SOD 934 mg; CALC 69 mg

**************************

CHIPOTLE CHEESE TOASTS INGREDIENTS:

6 (1/4" thick) slices of French bread
3 (1-oz.) slices Chipotle Cheddar cheese (such as Sargento), cut in half


CHIPOTLE CHEESE TOASTS INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place bread slices on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven.  Place 1/2 slice cheese on top of each slice of bread.  Bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese melts.

Note:  I baked for the recommended time, but the bread did not brown.  It did, however, get crisp.  So I wanted to point this out so you don't wind up with little bricks you can't bite into by baking longer to get "toasted".  Next time i plan to try broiling to get a nice browned effect on top.

YIELD:  6 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1 slice of toast
POINTS: 2

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  CAL 81 (37% from fat); FAT 3.3 g (sat 1.8 g); PRO 4.2 g; CARB 8.5 g; FIB 0.3g; CHOL 5 mg; IRON 0.5 mg; SOD 167 mg; CALC 81 mg

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Turkey-Cheddar-Zucchini Burgers for 7 Weight Watchers Points



This is actually a Family Favorite.  Of course, I didn't share with anybody it had shredded zucchini in it until AFTER they were Finished.  You could peel your zucchini prior to shredding it so that the bits of green are never questioned in the First place, but I just gave it a go to see if I could pull it off.  For the burgers I served to the kids, I topped theirs with a thin slice of Mozzarella cheese to hide all that green, which worked.  I've also topped it with plain old American cheese slices too.

My husband declared this burger his favorite.  I felt it needed a little something, so next time I'm going to add a bit of onion powder to the mixture.

I apologize for the sickly flashlight glow cast upon this burger in the photo above, as it was dark and I tried to illuminate it from the side using a flashlight.  I assure you it was the standard turkey-breast-white in person with flecks of green rather than this strange color.

For juicier burgers, don't be tempted to press the burgers with a spatula while cooking. This common mistake actually robs the burgers of moistness by squeezing out the juices.  The zucchini and minced onion help to keep the burger moist.


INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground skinless turkey breast
1 small zucchini, shredded
1/2 c. shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 c minced red onion
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c reduced-calorie mayonnaise
4 lettuce leaves
4 tomato slices
4 whole-wheat burger buns, split and toasted


INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat a nonstick ridged grill pan over medium-low heat
Combine the turkey, zucchini, cheese, onion, salt, and pepper in a bowl until blended. Shape into four patties.
Grill the patties until browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 7 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, whisk together the ketchup and mayo in a small bowl and toast your burger buns with center sides up under the broiler for a few minutes on a baking sheet (watch closely so they don't burn).

Layer the lettuce, burgers, and tomato slices on the bottom of the hamburger buns. Top with the ketchup mixture, then the bun tops.

POINTS: 7
YIELD: 4 burgers

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 348 CAL; 12 g TOTAL FAT; 4 g SAT FAT; 80 mg CHOL; 105.3 mg SOD; 25 g CARB; 4 g FIB; 35 g PRO; 158 mg CALC

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce and White Beans and Bacon All for 6 Weight Watchers Points




Here's another great-tasting recipe.  I'm not really a bean person, but this bean side-dish recipe is very Flavorful, so give it a go.  It also pairs very well with these chops, sauce and all.

INGREDIENTS FOR PORK CHOPS WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE:

4 (4-oz.) boneless, center-cut loin pork chops (1/2" thick)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cooking spray
1/2 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2/3 c. fat-free half-and-half
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PORK CHOPS WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE:

Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt and pepper.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork, and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and done.  Transfer pork to a serving plate and keep warm.

Add broth to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Stir in half-and-half, mustard, and lemon juice.  Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 6 minutes or until slightly thick.  Spoon sauce over pork and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

YIELD:  4 servings
SERVING SIZE:  1 chop and 2 Tbs sauce
POINTS:  4

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  CAL 193 (30% from fat); FAT 6.4 g (sat 2.3 g); PRO 24.3 g; CARB 5.7 g; FIB 0 g; CHOL 65 mg; IRON 0.7 mg; SOD 539 mg; CALC 52 mg



INGREDIENTS FOR WHITE BEANS AND RICE:

Cooking Spray
2 slices lower-sodium bacon, chopped
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
1 (15-oz.) can no-salt-added cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHITE BEANS AND RICE:

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bacon to pan and cook 3 minutes or until bacon begins to brown, stirring often.

Stir in onion and bell pepper and cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often.  Add beans, salt, and black pepper to pan.  Cook 2 minutes or just until thoroughly heated.

YIELD:  4 servings
SERVING SIZE:  About 1/2 cup
POINTS:  2

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  CAL 122 (39% from fat); FAT 5.4 g (sat 1.7 g); PRO 5.2 g; CARB 13.7 g; FIB 4.7 g; CHOL 8 mg; IRON 1.5 mg; SOD 249 mg; CALC 50 mg

Shrimp Spring Rolls for 3 Weight Watchers Points



These are my second go at Shrimp Spring Rolls.  The First recipe I tried was horrible.  It was so horrible tasting that Mr. F outright refuses to even try this.  The kids won't go anywhere near trying these, so it's a thing just for me.  This recipe is decent.  It's kind of like a wrapped salad.  The rice paper roll can take a little getting used to, or maybe I just need to know how to thin them out a little.

I would love to share the Smart Points to these, but the sugar content in this old Weight Watchers recipe I have is not included in the nutrition information and the online meal planning tool Freezes my computer, so I'll have to leave this one up to one of my readers to Figure out.


Ingredients:

6 oz. peeled cooked shrimp, chopped
3/4 c. precut matchstick carrots
1/3 c. minced green onions
1/4 c. julienne-cut cucumber (deseeded)
1/4 c. dry-roasted peanuts
5 (8-1/2") round sheets of rice paper
1 Tbs. hoisin sauce, divided


Directions:

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Add warm water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1". Place 1 sheet of rice paper in the water. Let stand about 10 seconds or just until soft.

Place softened sheet on a flat surface and spread about 1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce on bottom half. Arrange about 1/2 cup of the shrimp filling over bottom third of rice paper sheet.  Fold bottom of the rice paper sheet over the filling, presealing slightly.  Fold sides of the sheet over the filling, overlapping in center to form a tight roll. Roll up spring roll jelly-roll fashion, and gently press seam to seal. (You can watch some You Tube videos too for this.)

Repeat procedure with remaining rice paper sheets, hoisin sauce, and shrimp mixture.  Serve immediately, or cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate 30 minutes.

YIELDS:  5 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1 roll

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  CAL 160 (32% from fat), FAT 5.6 g (1.9 g saturated); PROTEIN 12.9 g; CARB 15.1 g; FIBER 2.6 g; CHOL 89 mg; IRON 1.8 mg; SOD 288 mg; CALC 34 mg

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Pumpkin Smoothie for 4 to 6 Weight Watchers Points



I modified this pumpkin smoothie into a pumpkin pie smoothie that has a hint of orange flavoring via the orange juice because it makes so much and the kiddos didn't really like it as written, so I'll include the original and how I modified it.  I added a dollop of whip cream on top for the kiddos too, but at 1 extra point, you may be able to do so on your own as well.

One servings of this smoothie gives you all the vitamin A you need for a day and almost half of your daily requirement of vitamin C!! BONUS! It also serves up 5 grams of protein!

The whole smoothie batch comes out to 24 points, so if you divide it up into 6 servings, each serving is 4 points.  Divide it up into 4 servings, and each serving is therefore 6 points.  Divide it into 2 and each serving is now 12 points.

Ingredients:

1 15-oz. can pumpkin, chilled
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk, chilled
1 cup orange juice, chilled
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 medium banana, cut into chunks (optional as written) (I added banana for body)
Ice cubes (optional, but I added for body)
Ground nutmeg or cinnamon (optional as written)  (I added 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
Orange wedges (optional as written)


Directions:

Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, orange juice, brown sugar, and, if desired, banana. Blend until smooth.

If desired, serve smoothies over ice cubes or blend them in and sprinkle each serving with ground nutmeg and garnish with orange wedges threaded onto a skewer.

Serves: 4 - 6
Points: 4 servings=6 points each, 6 servings=4 points each

Nutritional Information:  188 calories, 5 g total fat (3 g saturated), 17 mg cholesterol, 71 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein

Breakfast Smoothies for 2 Weight Watchers Points



I've been wanting to try tofu and found a recipe in my smoothie book that contains it for that extra punch of protein.  It's VERY low in points too--BONUS!  Seeing how I bought a bunch of cherries on sale, I Figured this would be the one. The smooth tofu available to me in my local store is a little too smooth/soft I think because even after freezing the cherries it doesn't have a lot of body to it, but the photo in the pamphlet has it looking very thick.  It's good though with the cherry and orange juice being the predominant flavors and doubling it up is only 4 Weight Watchers points!  The good news is I can get the kids to drink it too.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup soymilk or milk (I went with the soy)
3/4 cup orange juice, chilled
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened, pitted dark sweet cherries whole, or strawberries or peach slices
1 medium carrot, cut up and chilled
1/4 cup soft tofu (fresh bean curd)
1 Tbsp. honey (optional)

Directions:

Put all ingredients into the blender EXCEPT the honey and blend until smooth.  Add in 1 tablespoon of optional honey and blend again.  (Putting honey into smoothies atop frozen items can cause it to seize a little and not blend very well.)

Serves:  2
Points: 2 point per serving

Nutritional Information:  124 calories, 3 g total fat (0 saturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 225 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 6 g protein



Friday, July 1, 2016

Tilapia with Balsamic Butter Sauce for 9 Points



Here is another entirely doable Fish recipe due to the addition of Flavor! I pair this with the Broccoli with Brown Butter and Almonds side dish for 3 additional points and actually feel Full.  You could probably shave off a point by substituting a light butter in place of regular, but what's one point?  Just kidding.  I find that the light butter seems to have a higher water content/consistency, so it might thin out the balsamic butter sauce in this one.

I have no idea why this recipe card I picked up from my local grocery store says approximate in parentheses under nutrtional information, but it does.  It seems to come out correctly points wise for me when I Figure out the points for each individual ingredient.  Maybe it depends on  how much of the sauce you take in with the fish.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. butter
4 (6-oz) tilapia filets
1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

For the sauce, combine the vinegar, honey, shallot, and garlic and bring to boiling over medium-high heat in a small sauce pan.  Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally or until slightly thickened.  Whish in butter 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring each addition until melted.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Pat the tilapia fillets dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper to taste.  In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat 1 minute or until hot.  Add the fillets to hot oil in skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Transfer fillets to a serving platter and drizzle with sauce.  It's ready to serve!

Serves: 4
Points: 9 per serving

Nutritional Information (approximate):  370 calories, 17 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 120 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 45 g protein

Broccoli with Brown Butter and Almonds Recipe



Let me start by sharing that I'm not a huge cooked broccoli lover, but THIS recipe is literally so Flavorful, it's mind blowingly delicious. I don't have any light butter on hand to see how swapping it in to replace the regular butter I used would affect the points value, but 3 points is pretty darned good as it is.

When I Figured out the points for this recipe using my slider card, it came out to a total of 19 points for the whole dish.  The recipe card has the nutritional information included on it, and using that is how I come out to 3 points per serving, but when I divide 6 into 19, it actually comes out to just a tad more than 3 points, so I round up personally.  You can do what you like.  I guess I like to err on the side of caution.

Ingredients:

3 cups broccoli florets
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 small shallot thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. garlic pepper

Directions:

In a large skillet over high heat combine broccoli florets with 1/4 cup water and heat uncovered just until you see steam.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender.  Drain and transfer broccoli to a bowl and set it aside.

Wipe the skillet clean with paper towel and place back on stove over medium heat.  Add butter and heat until the butter melts and just begins to bubble whisking it once or twice.  Stir in the almonds, the shallot, and the garlic pepper.  Cooke just until the butter is light golden brown and begins to have a nutty aroma, and you WILL smell it.  Quickly remove from the heat and DO NOT LET THE BUTTER BURN.

Add the broccoli back into the skillet and toss to coat.  Return the skillet to low heat and cook just until your broccoli is reheated.  Season with salt to taste and serve.

Serves:  6
Points:  4

Nutritional Info:  125 calories, 12 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 35 g sodium, 3 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burger for 6 Weight Watchers Points



These turkey burgers are simply the best.  You can kick up the smoky spicy Flavor a notch with the addition of another chipotle pepper if you are really into spicy spicy.  There is nothing bland about this turkey burger, as it's absolutely Full of Flavor with garlic and onion powders and seasoning salt on top of the onion, cilantro and chipotle pepper! Delish!

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 chipotle chile in adobe sauce, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 toasted hamburger buns

Preheat your grill (outdoor or griddle indoor) and lightly oil grate.

Combine the ground turkey, onion, cilantro, chipotle chile pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Lawry's seasoning salt, and black pepper into a bowl and combine well.  Form into four equal patties.

Cook the patties on the grill until the turkey is no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side.  Place the hamburger buns onto the grill when there is about 2 minutes grilling time left with the insides facing down to lightly brown/toast them.  Place the mozzarella slices on the patties and melt cheese.  Top with tomato and lettuce and condiments if you like.

Asparagus Chicken Fajitas for 6 Weight Watchers Points Each!




Here is a Filling veggie filled Fajita recipe that shakes up the standard sliced peppers version a bit for a nice change and variation. I added some Fajita seasoning from a store-bought packet for a little more Fajita Flavoring.  This recipe makes 6 servings/6 fajitas.

Each Fajita is 6 Weight Watchers points, so have two if points allow!

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, julienned
1/2 c fresh or frozen corn
1/4 c diced onion
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper

12 flour 6" tortillas


INSTRUCTIONS:

Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and add the Italian salad dressing. Seal up the bag, manipulate the bag and contents to coat the chicken and refrigerate for at least 4 hours turning several times.

Drain and discard the marinade.  In a large, nonstick skillet, saute chicken in oil for 3 minutes.  Add the asparagus, peppers, corn, and onion and cook uncovered for 7 more minutes or until the chicken juices run clear and the vegetables are crisp-tender.  Stir occasionally.  Stir in the lemon juice, garlic salt, and pepper.  Add in some extra fajita seasoning mix if desired.  Spoon 1/2 cup fajita mix onto each tortilla and fold. Done.

I figured the points as follows:

16 oz chicken breast for 16 POINTS

0 POINTS for the asparagus, peppers, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

1 POINT FOR corn

0.25 POINTS for onion
_____________________SUBTOTAL OF 17.25 POINTS=3 POINTS/SVNG

24 POINTS for marinade

4 POINTS for cooking oil

2 POINTS per tortilla
_____________________SUBTOTAL OF 28 POINTS FOR MARINADE PLUS OIL
                                          AND 2 POINTS PER TORTILLA

2 points per tortilla plus 3 points per filling plus 1 point for residual marinade and cooking oil equal 6 points per fajita.



Tailor-Your-Points Creamy Poppyseed and Pine Nut Chicken Salad Recipe Starting at 6 Weight Watchers Points




This is my new Favorite salad, and you can turn it into a wrap as well!  If you are like me and have avoided salads with Fruit in them, then now is the time to stop being that way and to expand your horizons.  Something about Fruit in a salad has just never sat well with me, but I'm challenging myself to try new things, and I am oh so glad I did!  (Yes, I'm the one with picky children and a picky husband to Feed--imagine.)

I've deconstructed the original recipe so you can Figure your points for individual serving sizes, so the points can be more tailored to your needs and Weight Watchers points allowances. Firstly, here is the recipe for making a huge meal salad for a group.

Ingredients:

8 cups torn salad greens (I used Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Lettuces)  0 POINTS
1 medium red pepper sliced 0 POINTS
1/4 c. finely chopped green onions (I probably tripled it because I love green onions) 0 POINTS
2 pkg (6 oz each) of Grilled Chicken Breast Strips, coarsely chopped 12 POINTS
2 cups halved red seedless grapes 2 POINTS
1 pkg 2 oz. toasted pine nuts, approximately 1/3 cup--6 POINTS (*see note below)
3/4 cup Poppyseed salad dressing, (Marzetti's) -- 2 POINTS/TBSP.

This bulk version adds up to be 22 points.  Figure your points per serving by dividing it into the total number of servings you wind up with.

* Note:  1/3 cup of pine nuts is 5-1/3 Tbsp of nuts according to my conversion chart so it therefore comes out to 5-1/3 points because each tablespoon of nuts is equal to 1 point.  The nutrition information on my bag of pine nuts indicates that the 1/4 cup serving size is 4 points, and my conversion chart tells me that there are 4 tablespoons in 1/4 cup, so that is how I come out to 1 point per tablespoon. 

Individual Serving Salad:





Salad greens in the amount you wish for 0 POINTS
Red pepper slices in the amount you wish for 0 POINTS
Green onions in the amount you wish for 0 POINTS
2 oz cubed/diced chicken breast for 1 POINT PER OUNCE=2 POINTS
1/2 c. sliced red grapes for 0.5 POINTS
1 Tbs. toasted pine nuts for 1 POINT
1 Tbs. poppyseed dressing for 2 POINTS or 2 Tbs. for 4 POINTS

As you can see, you can tailor your salad to suit your points allowance.  With 1 tablespoon of dressing, the individual serving salad above would come out to 5.5 points, and with 2 tablespoons of dressing 7.5 points.  If you add more grapes, which are 1 point per cup, or if you use more chicken, which is 1 point per ounce, then adjust your points accordingly.

I haven't tried this meal salad in a wrap form, but you can easily add the appropriate points onto your salad after Figuring them out using the nutrition information from your Favorite wrap wrapper....wrap wrapper. lol

Be careful when toasting your pine nuts, as they cook very quickly at a certain point. I recommend checking after 3 minutes of baking at 350 degrees F and checking every minute thereafter until they have reached a nice golden brown color.

Enjoy! I know I will!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Mr. F's Tomato Shopping Fiasco

So what did I get when I asked Mr. F to pick up some plum tomatoes from the grocery store? P-L-U-M tomatoes? Nope. I got these below. He cracked a joke and said, "Well I knew it was some sort of fruit." Get it? Plums versus grapes.


You can read about how Mr. F has so graciously agreed to assisting me in grocery shopping in my interview here about how the little things will help me be successful.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Beer-Brined Pork Loin Chops for 7 Weight Watchers points

Mr. F is in love....with these chops.




I got this recipe from a magazine I bought called Grill It by Better Homes and Gardens and here is a link to that recipe.  It doesn't really say what the weight of each chop is, so use your references to figure out your own points based on the ounces you choose to consume.  The 7 points figure above is based on the nutritional info provided at the bottom of the recipe.


I let Mr. F buy the stout (dark beer), and he went with Guiness.  I'm not really a beer gal, so I went with it.  I am very interested in attempting this recipe again with one of the flavored stouts the magazine mentioned.  It says, Strong, dark ales are notable additions to food due to their interesting flavors.  Brewers often add spices, chocolate, or other complex flavors to their ales. Basically, I'm game for experimenting with these interesting variations.  Again, he couldn't say enough about this.  I didn't mind it, but it was a bit more beer-y than I thought it would be.

Here it is brining and grilling, and yes I grilled outside in January:



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Buffalo Turkey Wrap for 9 Weight Watchers Points



This recipe comes from a Better Homes and Gardens grilling recipe magazine I picked up somewhere and is the best wrap recipe I've ever tried so far.  I didn't bother grilling it outside since it's January and Freakin' cold outside, so I used an indoor double-sided grill thing I have.

I have always avoided Blue Cheese since I was a kid.  I think I had a bad experience with it, but this creamy homemade dressing really makes the wrap. This clocks in at 9 points for me.  Get the recipe right here!


The blue cheese dressing didn't stand up very well.  I left it on the counter for a couple of hours until my eldest got home to see if he wanted one and it was suddenly very, very runny.  I made Mr. F one to take to work the next day for lunch with that.  He said it made it soggy.  I'm thinking the lemon juice breaks it down, so next time I will make the dressing minus the lemon juice, figure out what the individual serving size of the dressing is (because I had a lot left over) and possibly work in the lemon juice individually just before application for individual take-a-home-lunch servings. We'll see, but Mr. F says it still tasted good.


 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Smothered Steak Burgers for 9 Weight Watchers Points




Yum, yum, yum!  The thick slice of tomato might be a turn off to some, but I tried it as recommended in the recipe--thick.  It was good!  This comes together nicely for a satisfying 9-point burger fix.

Again, I got this recipe out of this book:


So, yet again, I will link you to the online recipe here to save myself blogging time.  The book indicates this burger clocks in at 488 calories.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Tilapia Tostadas with Roasted Corn Relish - 5 Weight Watchers Points each

I know, I know--Fish!?  No, we aren't big Fish Fans here, but these were delicious, so any time I hit upon a great-tasting fish recipe, I HAVE to share it.



Again, this is a recipe from my new book:


So, again, I will link you to the online version to save time here.

I had ready-made tostada shells already and used those instead.  It saves the extra step of having to broil your own.

This was a hit with 3 out of the 5 of us, as two just outright refused to even give it a try, but Mr. F and my eldest loved it.  Even I loved it, and I Force myself to eat Fish.  It really tasted like and Felt like a taco salad, as I used a fork to break up my tostadas to eat it with that fork.  The Fixings fall off a lot when picking up to eat the whole round, but to each his own!

Each tostada is only 5 Weight Watchers points for me.  They clock in at 470 calories, and it says that the addition of 15 light-baked tortilla chips (a little less than an ounce) adds on 155 calories, so knock yourself out if you have the points available!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Taco Rice Salad Recipe for 7 Weight Watchers Points




This was a hit.  Mr. F is in love with this dish and I am completely stuffed.  The recipe called for yellow rice, but we used Tony Chachere's Creole yellow rice dinner mix, as that is all my husband could find.  We are now splitting up the shopping list, which I discuss here (feel free to read if you need a hubby's support).  This is a full-size dinner plate full of yummy.  You can make it as spicy as you like with your choice of picante sauce, but the Creole yellow rice has a little zing to it itself, so keep that in mind.

This recipe has come from the Mix & Match Low-Calorie cookbook that I found at 5 and Below as well, so I'm really liking all of the recipes I've tried so far from it.  It offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snack recipes to total under 1,500 calories each day.  It's also online, so to save time I'm sharing a link to the recipe and instructions here.


An Interview with Mr. F - Shopping Support

I've actively enlisted the support of my husband in my weight loss quest.  You may be wondering how he can help me lose weight. 

You see, I hate grocery shopping.  It takes me 3 hours to shop.  I've been doing it alone for eons now.  It takes me hours to go through recipes to find some to make for a week.  It takes me a couple more hours to make the list and organize it by shopping isle category for the sake of efficiency (to get the hell out of there faster.)  It takes me another hour to unload it all and put it all away. 

I'm also slow and meticulous--it's just something I can't shake, so I spend a lot of time doing the actual prep and cooking too.

A lot of food gets wasted because food has been deemed my area of expertise so that he is completely unaware of what goes where, of what should be eaten in the fridge that doesn't wind up eaten and instead rotting in the fridge, etc., but when he is assisting me, he notices more. 

He's also helping me more with cooking and cleaning as a team, which gets me out of the kitchen a little faster. He's also learning a thing or two so he won't be completely lost in the event something tragic happens to me. 

I don't like spending all of my "spare" time in the kitchen if even for a diet plan. I will ask him to grab something from the pantry and open it or measure it or to give the pan a stir while I work on chopping all the peppers, onions, garlic, etc.  It is a time saver. 

Don't get me wrong here ladies, this doesn't go off entirely hitch free.  Someone once said to me "Send a man to buy Brillo pads and they come back with Brillo.  Send him to buy SOS pads, and he comes back with SOS."  You see, they take it literally.  Probably to save them some griping about the possibility of having bought the "wrong kind."  Maybe I have thrown out such a comment at some point in the past, "You bought the wrong kind." or "Not THAT kind!"  In the grand scheme of things, none of it is THAT bad.  It's just a learning opportunity fellas, not a fight and definitely nothing personal.  I don't care whether I get the Brillo or SOS brand--buy the cheapest, and in the case of food brands, the cheapest yet tastiest.  I think the key is learning the details of why your dinner tastes so darned good boys. 

Also, I can make my list, divide it into two so that I'm getting all the fruits, veggies, etc. on one end of the store and have him make the run around the store for the other items, and he won't be able to find the items.  He'll come back at least a couple of times to discuss what is on his list and to ask questions about his items.  Sometimes it's funny--other times not so much and maybe a little scary if I'm to be honest here.  That must really grate his nerves when he has to hunt me down for a question.  For example, last week's list had chow mein noodles on it.  He grabbed stir fry chow mein noodles, and I didn't notice it, so later I had to run back up to the store for the right ones.  Keep in mind that not even I really knew if there was a difference between the two, as I had never bought them before, but the fact that it said "stir fry" on it made me pause as I unpacked them.  I would have scanned the isles for an option that didn't say "stir fry" on them and even check the empty shelf spaces by reading the microscopic labels upon them to see if any of them said "chow mein noodles."  If I found that space empty, I would have asked a worker.  Mr. F is just an in-and-out kinda guy be it the mall, the grocery store, or the gas station.  I'm all about the details and he's all about the obvious.

He often says "There weren't any left." or "They are out."  He hates it when I ask him if he asked somebody if there were any more.  He tends to stress, "There WEREN'T any left.  The shelves were EMPTY there." as if I am hard of hearing.  Then I have to explain how a worker can check in back.  He then gets frustrated and annoyed.  He probably feels I'm criticizing him.  I'm trying to teach how shopping is really done. Sometimes I think he'd rather just go to an entirely different store to see if they have it there than to ask a worker if they have any in back. The chow mein noodles were there by the way...just one package left all the way to the back of the shelf that was second from bottom.

I know he would really rather not go, but I asked him to help me, so he is trying.  I really appreciate that about my husband.  He could be like so many other husbands who say, "I worked all day." who sit down to read a paper and watch a game.  This little action shows me he wants to see me succeed despite not wanting to be there any more than I do.  I don't think he realized or even thought about the fact that I hate it as much as he does.  He is simply a shopping novice, much like the one I used to be in my 20s.  I think he'll get the hang of it, just as I did.  I have to say cooking and cleaning up together is actually nice.  It's much nicer than doing it alone.

Now let's see what he has to say about it!

What did you think about me asking you to help me grocery shop (explain that giant groan/sigh thing you did)?  Because I hate frickin' grocery shopping.  I don't like it.  AT.  ALL.

Why did you agree to helping me grocery shop?  Because I know you don't like it and I know you're trying your hardest to buy all that stuff so that you can lose the weight and feed us.  I know you hate it because you wait until night time to do it.  I hate finding that crap too.  Meijer is like a frickin' scavenger hunt every time you go there.  [laughter] True.  I'm always mumbling to myself how I think they take great joy in moving stuff around on me too.

Why do you get annoyed or act like I've criticized you when I ask you whether you have asked someone about the item? Because I'm pretty good at finding stuff.  When you send me to the store, I usually find the stuff.  I hate getting those people involved because they wind up taking you somewhere only to realize it's not there or that they don't 'even know where it's at.  It's like a crap shoot if you're going to come across a nonhelpful person or not because you rarely get that guy who says, "Oh. Yes.  It's right here."

Do you feel criticized when I ask you that though?  Yes.  Why?  I don't know.

Would you rather go to another store to find the item the current store is out of? No.  You saw it last night there.  There were no workers there.  There were boxes and stockists everywhere (not out in isles by the boxes) and when I ask, they just say, "I don't know."

Do you like spending this extra time with me in the kitchen?  I actually don't' mind it.  I actually like doing it with you.  Why?  I don't know.  I mean, I like being out there with you because it seems like it goes quicker and I can clean up as you're cooking.  I like it because it makes me feel better that I'm helping you get it done.  Yes, it keeps me from getting to my things like I want to, like exercising for myself, but that's why you aren't able to do those things too. We get to converse while we do it too.  I hate cooking, but with you directing me, it doesn't bother me at all because I don't have to think about the details.

Are you learning anything about this new experience?  Yes.  I see how hard it is to put all that crap together and you cook awesome food.  I understand why things should go in the fridge in a certain order now (no lettuce/greens up against the walls or in the back because they freeze).  I see how much food gets wasted when you're not paying attention.  

Any other input or advice for other husbands? I don't even have any weight really to lose and I know what I have to do to lose those couple of pounds, so I know what it's going to take for you to lose your weight.  I just want you to be happy and if helping you so that this is as easy on you as possible to keep going with weight loss without burning out on it because of us, then I'm in.  I think it's horrifying to think every single day of something new to make for your family--to be that person must suck.  I never even thought about helping you with it because with us and our opposite working schedules it was either you or I having to do it, even though I cooked very few items from scratch like spaghetti while you were working.  Now that we are both home during the evening we can do it together and it just didn't occur to me.  For other husbands, they should just try it because it doesn't feel like cooking.  It's not as bad as it sounds.  It feels more like hanging out with your wife.  I'm surprised that I'm not just dreading it, but I don't.  And if the perk is getting your happy, healthy, and confident wife back, then what are you waiting for? 




Fab Grab Chocolate Bars for 3 Weight Watchers Points




I decided to try these out when I saw them on sale for a good price.  Each  bar is only 3 Weight Watchers points for me.  It's a great grab-and-go option when you're running behind and need to have something handy to eat, whether it's because you missed your breakfast and need to get your points in or you just aren't really hungry and still need to get those points in.  Obviously, it's a good choice for a chocolate and chewy fix since they are soft-baked bars.

They are milk-free, nut-free, and soy-free.  The box also indicates they are gluten free and free from the 8 common allergens, which are wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish.  It does say that their products are made in a dedicated nut- and gluten-free facility with no artificial ANYTHING.

I bought these a couple of months ago, but I think it's safe to say I found them in the gluten-free section of my local Meijer store.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

BLT Salad for 7 Weight Watchers Points




This was a very satisfying and Filling salad.  It's sort-of a deconstructed BLT.  I have very large salad bowls, and each serving filled 'er right up.  You can also add a bit of chicken to it to make it more of a meal salad. Each 1-ounce serving of chicken breast adds only 1 point. My book, however, says a whole 4-1/2-oz. serving of chicken breast without the skin is 3 points, but that is probably a lot of chicken to add to this salad. Basically, while the salad without chicken included is 7 points, feel free to add some for up to 10 points total (4-1/2 oz. of chicken).

Making the croutons is pretty easy.  I used to make croutons in a restaurant back in high school, but there was a lot of oil and seasoning involved.  This method recommends spraying the bread pieces with an oven spray oil in between tossing the croutons on the baking sheet.  I also added a bit of garlic powder to mine.  Keep in mind that croutons go quickly at a certain point so you need to keep a close eye on them toward the end.  I remember it being the kitchen staff joke back in the restaurant...all of a sudden you'd hear someone yell out "The croutons!" and see them running back toward the pizza oven where they were baking, including myself.  We'd walk away thinking I'll just do this real quick and that was that--time to start over.  

Again, I found this recipe online, although it was in a book I have, so I'm sharing a link to the details for both of us.  Mostly, to save me time to Focus on my weight loss more.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tex-Mex Calzones for 9 Weight Watchers Points


I made these calzones last night, and they were a hit.  Mr. F loved, loved, loved them so he had two.  I received the below book for Christmas (bought by myself for myself while holiday shopping).  As you can see, you can choose meals for the entire day from it, including snacks, and the whole day adds up to under 1500 calories total. 


This particular calzone recipe comes out to 416 calories, and the rest of the nutritional information can be found here, as can the recipe.  I won't type it all up here, as I'm trying to save time these days for better weight-loss success meaning less time spent online.

The black bean salad, also pictured, is included on this recipe link as well clocking in at only 85 calories per serving.

This meal, as pictured (both the calzone and black bean salad), comes out to 10 points for me. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happy 2016 and I'm Now Freaking 46!

Hey there, ho there, hi there!  Things are still crazy over here, but I keep keepin' on.  I haven't gotten any Fatter, and as of right now I'd have to scan the blog to see if I maintained or gained a couple while I was away. 

When I scan my blog, I see I still haven't reached my goal weight a couple years later, so something has to give.  Granted, the "crazy" gets in my way and I still struggle with managing the crazy, but I am making a few changes.

For starters, I've come out of the other side of the Family drama after months of counseling and working it over and over and over in my head.  I *am* good enough.  If *you* don't like *me* just the way I am, then move the hell on.  Be gone with ya.  My life will be better without those of you in it.  *I* have done nothing wrong.  *I* can't make it better by myself, and the below meme is sooo, sooo true.  I'm the Fixer, so it is what ate at me the most.  I'm very analytical, so until I could process the situation in any and all possible ways--seen and unseen--and received the input from an objective party, I was bound to continue that and continue driving myself crazy.  But no more.  All done.  When a trained professional tells you you have emerged from a dysfunctional situation the healthiest, that she's never heard anything more irrational upon hearing them, then you have to accept that you are all set.  It's sad, it's  unfortunate, it's a crying shame--but I don't have to dwell on it and I don't have to wonder whether I am the person failing to grow.  My willingness to seek input as to how I may have been wrong proves I am still open for growth and will continue to grow.  That's important to me. I asked for words/advice to write down to remind myself, and she simply said, "There is nothing you can do." and "You did nothing wrong." and "It's their problem."  All set.  Whew.




Next up, I'm no longer going to Focus on Family-Friendly meals.  My youngest is 10 and my oldest 18.  I've announced that I am cooking for myself, period.  If Mr. F wants to accommodate the "picky," he may, but I will not.  The stress of making it my problem in my people-pleasing fashion means I burn out and give up far too easily.  No more.  If they eat what I make, great--if they don't, oh well.  Sunday night I made a garlic-cashew chicken dish, which only Mr. F and I have eaten.  Guess what?  We'll be eating it again tonight, which means three nights in a row, but less points calculating, less prep time, less kitchen time.  I don't feel stressed about how to work it in.

And the final change was identifying and addressing the things that get in my way that I've talked about previously.  My basement is better, but when the holidays came along, all of my stuff got stacked and hidden to make way for decorations and celebrations.  I'm now in the midst of resorting and organizing, but I'd say I'm halfway through. My kids get in the way. They want their friends to come over and hang out in the basement, which means I give them space to be kids but don't work on the basement, so there is now a no friends policy until it is done.  This do-it-all-yourselfer has to admit she can't' do it all herself.  They have to contribute in some way, if even in the way of a temporary sacrifice of their social lives on our turf.

Things will always be crazy here until there aren't any little voices making demands on me.  Right now, I need to get ready to take my daughter to a plastic surgeon because she was hit in the face last week and had her nose broken.  We'll see what he says, but the point of waiting 5 days was to let the swelling go down.  They don't reset noses in the ER like you see on TV apparently. lol  But, hey, the good news is the results of my eldest son's x-rays came in yesterday and his ankle isn't broken--only sprained.  (See?  Told ya it was crazy around here! lol)

Happy 2016!