Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend: Sneezing, Seizing & Sizzlin'

Cilantro Lime Chicken & Veggie Fajitas
3 Weight Watcher Points Plus (1 chicken tender + as many veggies as you like)

This Memorial Day Weekend didn't go exactly as planned. It started on Thursday when my youngest started showing signs of a cold that then took over the whole family. Let's just say we haven't been getting much sleep lately. So there went our plans involving friends. How I wish I hadn't already told my 3 year old that her BFF and family were coming over for dinner on Saturday. (Yes my 3 year old already has a BFF. I know crazy, right?)

The next unplanned event was when my husband declared war over the woodchucks that have invaded our deck. This is probably the 4th generation of woodchucks that has lived under our deck since we moved here. They are annoying but we have been cohabiting with them for awhile now. Anyways, today he snapped and started chasing them with a shovel.

On a good note, I did make it to my weigh-in and was down 2.4 pounds. This sounds great but I think I am starting to plateau. This is how the past three weeks have gone: -1.6, + 1.6 and then - 2.4. I am going to try really hard to kick up my work-out routine this week because I am getting really close to my goal. I am a little less than 3 pounds away.

Even though sickness has kept us from our holiday plans it didn't keep us from grillin'. We ate these sizzlin' fajitas, which we were supposed to have with our friends, and they were delicious.
I didn't change anything in the recipe except I made ours on the grill so I didn't have to use any oil. They were great! The pp breakdowns are below and click here for the recipe.

Here is how I ate mine...

One chicken tender sliced = 3 pp
Peppers = 0 pp
Lime Pickled Red onions = o pp (have you made these? they are amazing if you love onions like me!)
1 T low-fat sour cream = 1 pp
Salsa = 0 pp
Tortilla = 2 pp
Total for my fajita = 6 pp

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Polly Piper Picked a Peck of Peppers for Her Pizza?

Pepper "Pizza"
3 Weight Watcher Points Plus (2 slices of bell pepper)

Clearly I am obsessed with pizza. I just can't resist the stuff and find myself craving it all the time. This is another good pizza swap idea that I got from the Hungry Girl show. She used a bell pepper for her crust. The possibilities are endless! What I liked about this is that you can pick it up like regular pizza and the pepper gives you a bit of the crunch feeling.

Here are the details...

Red Pepper Pepperoni Pizza
  • One red bell pepper = 0 pp
  • 1 T pizza sauce = o pp
  • 1/4 Cup mozzarella cheese = 2 pp
  • 4 pepperonis = 1 pp
  • Total = 3 pp
Yellow Pepper Greek Pizza
  • One yellow pepper = 0 pp
  • Diced tomatoes = 0 pp
  • 4 black olives, sliced = 1 pp
  • 1 oz. of feta cheese, crumbled = 2 pp
  • Total = 3 pp
  • Remove stem and bottom of peppers. Cut in half and remove seeds.
  • Top peppers w/ pizza toppings.
  • Bake in the oven until cheese has melted and peppers are firm but slightly soft. (I did mine of the pizza pizazz.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wimbs Need Not Apply: FIRE-Roasted Corn Chowder

Fire-Roasted Corn Chowder
5 Weight Watcher Points Plus (2 cup serving)

When I walked into the library and saw this book on display I just had to get it. I am very quickly becoming obsessed with Sriracha so it was like the book was calling out to me.

This recipe was adapted from the book. I used less olive oil and swapped the cream for low-fat milk. I also used dried thyme instead of fresh because I've got to keep that grocery bill down. I loved this soup but it was really spicy. If you don't want it to be too overwhelming skip the sriracha garnish.

There is also a sriracha crab rangoon recipe in the book. I am going to use it for the inspiration for a lighter crab rangoon. I can't wait to try it.

  • 8 ears fresh sweet corn, husked & divided = 24 pp
  • 1 T olive oil = 4 pp
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced (I used one red, one orange) = 0 pp
  • 1 large red onion, diced = 0 pp
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced = 0pp
  • 6 cups of chicken stock = 1 pp
  • 1/2 cup of Sriracha (If you dare!) = 0 pp
  • 1/2 T dried thyme (or more to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups 2% Milk = 6 pp
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro, smoked paprika & sriracha
  • Total = 35 pp
  • Yields approx. 14 cups
  • 1 Cup = 2.5 pp; 2 Cups = 5 pp
  • Roast 4 ears of corn on the grill until they start to blacken, set aside to cool. Once cooled remove kernels from cob with a knife.
  • Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell peppers, onions and cook until softened slightly, 5 -7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile scrape kernels from the 4 remaining corn cobs. Add raw corn & garlic and cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
  • Add stock, sriracha, thyme & bay leaves. Bring to boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves and puree the soup with an immersion blender.
  • Heat 2 cups of milk on low. Add into pureed soup. Stir in roasted corn that you set aside.
  • Garnish soup with a few lines of sriracha, a sprinkle of smoked paprika & cilantro.

Time to Dig in My Flats?

We had an extremely busy weekend so I missed my normal Saturday meeting. I weighed in on Friday afternoon and was up 1.6 pounds. This may have something to do with the time of day I weighed in but regardless things are definitely getting harder. I am five pounds away from what I think is my goal and I can almost see my finish line. Although, as someone from my group pointed out there is no finish line. This is a healthy diet that I need to keep for good.

I am a stay-at-home so I don't wear heels anymore. On most days I am in tennis shoes or flip flops. On a good day, I am in some somewhat stylish flats. Well it is time to dig in those flats and keep moving forward to my goal.

(My 3 year old daughter helped me with this picture and insisted on adding her and her sissy's shoes.)

Have a great week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

C is for Cookie That's Good Enough for Me

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
5 Weight Watcher Points Plus (Serving 2 cookies)

I love sweets, especially chocolate. I am not much of a baker which is a good thing because I would eat all of my baked goods in very unhealthy quantities. However, my three year old daughter LOVES to help me bake. Just because Mama is a choc-o-holic doesn't mean I want to deprive my daughters so I have come up with a cookie strategy. After making the dough I only bake a few cookies. This is what I do with the rest...

Step One: Put cookies on a cookie sheet lined w/ wax paper and put in the freezer.

Step Two: After letting the cookies set up over night transfer them into a freezer bag.

Then your freezer is stocked with ready-to-go cookies. When you need to bribe your kids with treats, oh I mean when you want to make your kids freshly baked cookies, you just pull a few out of the freezer and bake them. Then you don't have a cookie jar full of cookies to tempt your inner cookie monster.

This cookie recipe was one of Gina's. (love her). It was very easy and yummy. There is only 2 T of butter in these. Visit her site for the recipe.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So Good I Want to Drink It: Thai Coconut Peanut Sauce

Thai Coconut Peanut Sauce
3 Weight Watcher Points Plus (Serving is 2 T of sauce)

Have you tried Better'n Peanut Butter from Trader Joe's? It is a low-fat peanut butter. I don't like it on toast but it is great in sauces. I used it in this sauce to save on a lot of fat and calories. This recipe was adapted from Steven Raichelen's Beer-Can Chicken cookbook. I used the sauce on his Thai Coconut Chicken which I cooked on the grill in our vertical roaster. This sauce would taste great on plain old grilled chicken or fish. Or if you really want something easy just grab a rotisserie chicken and make some rice. The sauce is very rich so a little goes along way.

Here is my meal pictured below....

Here are the details...

  • 1 T canola oil = 4 pp
  • 2 to 3 shallots, finely chopped = 0 pp
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced = 0 pp
  • 1 T minced peeled fresh ginger = 0 pp
  • 1 t ground coriander = 0 pp
  • Sriracha to taste = 0pp
  • 3/4 cup lite coconut milk = 4 pp
  • 3/4 cup Better'n Peanut Butter = 13 pp
  • 2 t soy sauce = 0 pp
  • 1 T of fresh lime juice = 0 pp
  • Fresh ground pepper = 0 pp
  • 2 T fresh chopped cilantro = 0 pp
  • Yields approx. 1 cup of sauce
  • 2 T = 3 pp; 1 T = 1 pp
  • Heat the oil in a pan over high heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger and coriander and stir-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes
  • Stir in the coconut milk and bring to boil. Stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice & black pepper. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer until thick and richly flavored, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and cook for 1 minute.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eggplant "Pizza"

Eggplant "Pizza"
5 Weight Watcher Points Plus (for two slices of eggplant)

First of all let me start by saying this isn't actually pizza. In my world, you must be able to pick pizza up with your hands and this is definitely a knife and fork dish. BUT...this was very, very good. I got the idea from the Hungry Girl show and I was a bit skeptical. I really like eggplant so I thought I would give it a try. I was shocked at how good this was. I loved it!!! You could use turkey pepperoni to make this even healthier.

  • 2 slices of roasted eggplant = 1 pp
  • 2 T pizza sauce = 0 pp
  • 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese = 2 pp
  • 8 pepperoni = 2 pp

Top slices of eggplant w/ 1 T of sauce each. Divide cheese between two slices & top each slice w/ 4 pepperonis. I cooked mine on the pizza pizazz using the upper heat source only but you could do these in the oven.

Here is how I roasted the eggplant...

Slice an eggplant vertically into 6 slices. Mix 1 T olive oil with 1 T lemon juice. Add in salt & pepper to taste. Brush mixture on eggplant slices. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or until soft. 1 pp for two slices of eggplant.


Weekend Wrap-Up: 25 lbs down and Super Easy, Yummy Grilled Chicken

Grilled Lemon Chicken
4 Weight Watcher Points Plus (for a 5 oz serving)

Besides the weather, we had a great weekend! At my meeting on Saturday I hit a milestone - 25 pounds down! I feel fantastic and I almost can't believe it. We also got to celebrate our nephew's 2nd birthday with family.

On Friday, still faced with my mostly empty fridge, I made the easiest yummy grilled chicken. I loved it and my 3 year old inhaled hers. (Major victory!) This recipe is from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. I didn't have chicken breasts and used chicken tenders instead. The only thing I changed was using more garlic because 1 clove is never enough for me.

Here are the details...

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled (I used 2)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t grated lemon zest
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 4 (5 oz.) skinless boneless chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders)

1. With the side of large knife, mash garlic with salt until it forms a paste.
2. To make marinade, combine lemon zest & juice, oil garlic paste, oregano, and pepper in a large zip-lock bag; add chicken. Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally at least 30 min up to overnight. (I did mine during nap-time and grilled at around 5:30)
3. Pre-heat your grill. Take the chicken out of the fridge and bring close to room temp before grilling.
4. Grill on both sides until cooked through.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The I Can't Eat Another Can of Tuna & I Desparately Need to Go to the Grocery Store Magic Wand Pizza

Flatbread Pesto & Tomato Pizza
7 Weight Watcher Points Plus (for the whole thing!)

I have been neglecting my blog recently for a variety of reasons. 1. The whole family got sick including me w/ a nasty sinus infection. 2. Our fridge is bare, so exciting recipes are lacking this week. 3. It has finally been nice outside so we have been spending almost all daylight hours outdoors. I have been weeding and the girls have been playing.

To say that I am beyond sick of my typical lunches (let's just say I don't want to eat tuna for awhile) is an understatement. It has been one of those weeks that I wish I could take my 3 year old's fairy princess wand and use it to make something appear in our fridge. But it turned out that I didn't need the wand. I was able to come up with something that was yummy, got me out of my lunch rut and was super easy!

Here are the details...

  • Flatout multi-grain wrap = 3 pp
  • 1 T pesto = 2 pp
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese = 2 pp
  • Some diced tomatoes from a can, drained & chopped up more = 0 pp
  • Total = 7 pp

Spread pesto on wrap & top with tomatoes & cheese. I cooked mine on the pizza pizazz but you could do this in the oven.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lighten Up Those Beans!

Cowgirl Beans
6 Weight Watcher Points Plus (1 cup serving)

Have you ever had Cowboy Beans or Calico beans at a cookout? They are very good but not so good for you. They have hamburger and bacon in them just for starters. I decided to come up a leaner version and call them Cowgirl Beans because us Cowgirls need to look good in our Wranglers, right?

I was very pleased with the results. I altered the beans used in attempt to get my girls to eat this. Normally there are butter beans in the recipe, but the bigger the bean the more freaked out my kids get so I used another can of baked beans instead. I am also telling my 3 year old daughter that this is Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl's recipe (a.k.a. Jessie from Toy Story) in hopes that she will eat it.

This makes a ton of beans and would be perfect for a BBQ or cookout.

Here are the details...

  • Ground Turkey = 16 pp
  • 2 cloves of garlic = 0 pp
  • 2 regular sized cans of baked beans (with juices) = 24 pp
  • 1 regular sized can of black beans (drained & rinsed) = 11 pp
  • 1 regular sized can of canellini beans (drained & rinsed) = 11 pp
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce = 2 pp
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar = 6 pp
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar = 0 pp
  • Squirt of sriracha (optional) = 0pp
  • Total = 70 pp
  • Yields approx. 12 cups
  • 1 cup serving = 6 pp
  • 1/2 cup serving = 3 pp

Cook turkey, season with salt & pepper and minced garlic. You could add an onion too but I was being lazy.

Mix tomato sauce with brown sugar, apple cider vinegar & sriracha.

Combine turkey, beans & tomato sauce mixture in a crockpot. Heat on low for a couple hours and then dig in!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weekend Weigh-in: Break on Through to the Other Side

(My youngest crawling through a tunnel at the park. That is my old hat circa the early 80's. Thanks to my Mom for saving it.)

First of all Happy Mother's Day! With the exception of us all being sick we have had a great weekend. It started off with my weigh-in on Saturday. I am officially in the healthy BMI weight range for my height (a measly 5'4" but in my family that ain't bad). It is very cool that I reached this goal on Mother's Day Weekend because the real reason I started this weight loss journey was so that I could be a better Mom for my kids. I wanted to be healthy and have more energy. And most importantly I wanted to be a good role model for my family. (Well and to be totally honest I didn't want to face another swim suit season in total fear.)

Happy Mother's Day to all of you and especially my Mom!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I can't believe these are NOT bad for me: Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Buffalo and Blue Chicken Tenders
8 Weight Watcher Points Plus

This is another Rocco Dispirito recipe from his book, Now Eat This!. It was so, so good. I felt like I was eating boneless buffalo wings. If you love spicy food you have to try these. When you are eating them, close your eyes and you will be transported to your younger days when you were at the bar having wings and beers with friends -- until your 1 year old throws her plate on the floor and you are jolted back into reality.

I didn't have any blue cheese dressing so I just put about 1 T of blue cheese on top and ate it on a bed of spinach salad to bulk the meal up.

Here is a link to the recipe. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Steak Frites Meet my Friend, Garlic

Garlic Fries
5 Weight Watcher Points Plus (for a 1/4th of the recipe)

This is another recipe from Ellie Krieger. She and I have something in common - we both love fries! She has a few different oven fry recipes. This one is great. The hardest thing is cutting the potatoes so small (one reason I often do wedges) oh and eating only one portion is a bit hard too.

Here is the link to her recipe.

Figuring out the points depends on how many potatoes you use and what size they are. I really want the weight watcher food scale so I can get a more accurate read on things like potatoes. It would make my life so much easier! Here is how I figured mine...

  • 4 small/medium russet potatoes = 12 pp
  • 2 T canola oil = 8 pp
  • Recipe total = 20 pp
  • 1/4th serving = 5 pp

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things: 0 Weight Watcher Points Plus Condiments

1. My absolute favorite, which my hubby and I can no longer go without, is Sriracha HOT chili sauce. (Believe me there is a reason the word HOT is in all caps.) My hubby and I love all things spicy but this is not your typical hot sauce. Well technically it isn't a hot sauce at all but a chili sauce. Anyways I could try to describe this to you but if you like things with a kick just go out and buy it TODAY. It is great on everything: eggs, pizza, burgers, mixed into ketchup for fries, in Asian sauces, etc. I used it on my crab cakes and it was a big hit. Thanks to my Dad for this discovery. The best thing is that there are barely any calories so this adds tons of flavor without any points.

2. Coming in second is my good friend Balsamic Vinegar. BV is 0 pp and it is a great flavor enhancer. I love using it on salads so I don't have to use a ton of dressing. It works well in marinades too. Or you can just drizzle it on a slice of tomato. The BV pictured isn't just any balsamic it is 25 Star from the Olive Grove. It is so good. Once you buy good balsamic you won't go back. It was great on this flank steak recipe!

3. Number 3 is difficult to describe. It is a grainy mustard but it doesn't have same bite as your typical grainy mustard. The garlic balances it out beautifully. I use this on salmon, potatoes, sandwiches, burgers and today I used to dip my chicken nuggets. (I know fancy, right?) If you live by a Trader Joe's buy this. You won't be disappointed. Thanks to my friend Holly for introducing this to me and for this clutch potato recipe!!!!

4. I bought this Franks RedHot buffalo wing sauce to make Rocco's buffalo chicken tender recipe. I opened it up early to use on our turkey burgers and instantly fell in love. Today I used it as a dip for my sweet potato fries. This sauce is great because it has some spice but it isn't overwhelming. And you can dip without worrying because it is guilt-free. I can't wait to try it on the chicken tenders. Thanks to Rocco for the tip!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: Weighin', Grillin' & Chillin'

Buffalo Blue Cheese Turkey Burger
6 Weight Watcher Points Plus

First, I did my weigh-in on Saturday and I was very nervous. I had a horrible week of eating Easter leftovers: scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole & chocolate bunnies. I have never been so happy to gain 1.2 pounds in my life. I consider myself very lucky. Now all of the bad food is out of our house and it back to our healthy lifestyle.

On Saturday night I needed a quick and easy dinner for me and the hubby. I had frozen turkey burgers from Costco that are ready to throw on the grill. I really like these turkey burgers because they are big and only 5 pp a piece. (You do have to make them on the grill and baste and/or season them).

Here is the info...

  • Frozen Kirkland brand turkey burger (or your fav. turkey burger) = 5 pp
  • Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce = 0 pp
  • 1 T blue cheese = 1pp
  • Baste turkey burgers as you cook them on the grill. Cook through. Top with blue cheese.
These are 6 pp for the burgers plus the points for the bun of your choice if you choose to use one. These were a big hit!

After 2 weekends of entertaining, we are kicking back and relaxing. I hope you are having a great weekend!
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