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Weight Watchers Foodies-what are you cooking his week? - (Old)

Ugh, I've had to cave and sign up for WW online to try and lose a little of this baby weight before our Christmas trip to Maui. I'm finding it challenging, both because I love things like bread and cheese and butter and cream and pastry and.... But also because it's a real pain in the ass to keep track of points when cooking at home, not relying on prepared foods. Ive seen the WW recipe thread, but am not necessarily looking for WW recipes, but for healthy recipes or snack ideas that my fellow-hounders have enjoyed.

Made the CI split pea soup this weekend, which was insanely good, and am going to try the million dollar chicken recipe tonight. (To make it more complicated, I'm also feeding my husband, who is working on losing weight, but swims a couple miles a day so can eat many times the calories I can, and three kids, all skinny, not super-picky, but still kids. In other words, as much as I'd love to eat sushi every day, it ain't gonna fly).

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  1. none of these suggestions are miraculous and unheard of but...

    roasted crispy kale with kosher salt or other seasonings

    egg white and skim milk frittata with roasted garlic, caramelized onions, and other roasted veggies for flavor

    breakfast melt - get some of those 1 point bagels; slice in half and scoop flesh (dog eat it?), sprinkle with a *little* low fat cheese and toast til golden; top with a couple of dollops of low-fat or fat free cottage cheese and some salsa

    Fish stew - start with onions and fennel in deep saucepan with spray, cook til softened and add veggie broth and/or water if too dry; add in chopped garlic, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and zest, dash of white wine if it's open, fresh rosemary and parsley; let simmer. when veggies are stewed together, move them to one side of the pan, and add seasoned fish of choice (i like halibut and scallops); cook fish til almost done, then toss with veggies during it's final couple of minutes of cooking. adjust seasoning, sometimes i add more lemon, S & P, rosemary, parsley, etc.

    cauliflower soup - i've been on a kick... just roasted cauliflower, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, a little veggie broth in food processor/blender; and seasonings that strike me - sometimes salt pepper and parsley; sometimes a dash of cumin or dill... i also like to serve with one or two salmon croquette croutons that i make in mini muffin tins for bite-sized delights (canned skinless boneless salmon with diced cooked onion, egg (or just white), parsley and just enough almond meal, so the things don't fall apart... super tasty and light)

    Potato skins - give the flesh to the family in mashed form at dinner; save the skins - toast em and fill with veggies of choice.

    Microwave Roasted fruit - put cut up fruit in a micro safe dish; sprinkle with cinnamon and vanilla, and a little water at the bottom. nuke til soft. sprinkle with stevia or sweetener of choice.

    Eggplant Stackers - dip eggplant slices in egg white then in a combo of tvp, cornmeal and italian seasonings; lay on baking sheet, repeat with zucchini slices; then top with a layer of undipped tomato slices; bake til soft. add some parmesan at the end and broil if you feel like being decadent with your points.

    i could go on for eons... but sure others will chime in with wonderful suggestions...

    12 Replies
    1. re: Emme

      Emme, thank you so much! Love the idea of the cauliflower soup with the croquettes, and I've been contemplating r
      Kale chips lately.

      The million dollar chicken was pretty good, along with some roasted brussel sprouts.

      My goal is too eat food that I'd eat even if it wasn't low-cal, but I may be shooting too high. Hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, which makes it more difficult.

      I did discover the laughing cow cheese/rye crisp combo, which has made me much happier :)

      1. re: girlwonder88

        Hey! I was going to recommend the laughing cow cheese (35 calories per wedge) with Wasa Light crisp bread/cracker too! Three slices of that crisp bread are only 60 calories. Divide the wedge of cheese onto the three crisps, sprinkle with finely chopped chives or green onions - tastes good and feels like a treat, and all for under 100 calories.

        1. re: schmoopy

          Laughing cow cheese on the ww pita/hamburger round thingies with some sugar free jam. A fast and yummy 2 point breakfast.

          1. re: food face

            A friend travels with laughing cow cheese stuffed into celery sticks. Pretty tasty!

            1. re: food face

              Ooh...don't know about these pita things. Find them in a regular grocery store?

              1. re: girlwonder88

                They are not quite pita's though. I would describe them more like the thin hamburger buns that are at most supermarkets. But they taste like a thick style pita. 2 halves that make up 1 unit is 1 point. Definately the best ww bread I've had (especially when they are fresh). Also the most versatile. I use it for toast, burgers and sandwhiches. If you are in Canada, I have only seen them at Loblaws and Metro.

                1. re: food face

                  This sounds like the various types of Sandwich thins that are on the market. I believe Arnold, and Pepperridge Farm I think make some.

              2. re: food face

                I have found a sourdough french bakery bread that is 110 per 6in cut. Toast it up for sandwiches and so far staying away from cheese. But now I must find this cheese to add to it.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  Laughing Cow light blue cheese wedges are remarkably good - actual blue cheesy taste! and Joseph's makes some very good low carb, high protein lavosh and pitas with flax, oatbran and whole wheat. Not sure what the point values are for those, however.

                  1. re: aggiecat

                    Their french onion one is pretty good too.

                    1. re: aggiecat

                      thank you, I'm checking these out today.

              3. re: girlwonder88

                almost forgot a few more favorites...

                big pot of ratatouille can add cooked chicken, feta, beans, whatever upon reheating.

                miso braised veggie stew with various greens, kale, bok choy, wild mushrooms. miso broth, garlic, onion, lemon juice, a dash of soy or bragg's to finish. tofu or streamed in egg whites for protein.

                make your own fruit sorbet

                oatmeal pancakes - quick cooking oats, egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla - make pancakes serve with low cal syrup or fruit preserves or fresh fruit

                egg white "crepes" - cook egg whites in a thin pancake, fill and fold with skim ricotta or cottage cheese with cinnamon and vanilla and fruits

                stuffed tomatoes - fill with a combo of cooked chopped onions, tvp, veggies and herbs and bake

                chili made beanless with tvp or lean ground meat

                stuffed cabbage leaves


                ...are you more of a sweets or savory girl?

            2. Here's a tip that served me well in my WW year - i lost 24 lbs., and most of it was on WW, with exercise, of course. I would eat a large bowl of steamed broccoli drizzled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, before every dinner. I love broccoli so it was easy for me, but that would fill me up and is very low cal.

              I ate almost no prepared foods, but measured and weighed almost everything. I did not kill myself in measuring oils and fats, I would just be very careful with everything, and the most important thing I found was portion control. Weighing everything, while it may seem tiresome, really was key. Even if you are not following a WW recipe, weigh your proteins, your carbs. I also used small plates to eat out of. And again, I did not stress too much in following even WW recipes to the letter - i never used low fat mayo, or reduced calorie anything. Just made sure i ate small portions. Lunches out, I had a place near my office where they sold half paninis, so I would have half a sandwich. Summer time, i ate a lot of fruit. It may not be free points, but fruit is filling and it's always better to snack on then anything else (except veggies of course.) for example, I'd keep a bowl of raspberries when cooking to snack on.

              as for recipes, some of the WW recipes are actually very good, and satisfying. I was lucky in that my BF would make them for me - he'd weigh everything, measure everything, it was great.
              for instance, he'd make a sliced zucchini salad with basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a tsp. of olive oil, s&p. - really delicious! I'd have a big bowl of that and sometimes mix my broccoli in.
              Then he'd pound a chicken breast very thin and season it, then quick sear it in a very hot ridged grill pan with no oil or maybe a little Pam. He'd weigh it and my dinner would be about 7 pts.

              This was a recipe i loved: http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rc...

              Tricks for the mornings: whole wheat english muffins or double fibre whole wheat bread is worth half the points other bread is. i'd toast up one, place a poached egg on top and drown it in salsa. or sometimes the same egg and salsa on a griddled corn tortilla (only one pt. for the tortilla). use a lot spices and hot sauces in your cooking and you'll be less likely to miss the other things you crave. Use whole wheat pasta when you can, it's also half the points.

              But, don't deprive yourself. if you want to have a piece of cheese, have it. just have one little piece. you will feel less resentful eating a small portion of something (and virtuous, which is totally motivating) then if you do without it completely. If i wanted butter on my double fibre bread, i'd have it!

              i love mexican food, so i'd often have one soft taco for lunch from a taqueria. or make our own! you can use so little protein in one of those, and load it up with tomatoes/peppers/cilantro/onions/hot sauce, and you don't need more meat.

              and tho i didn't use reduced calorie items on a regular basis, i did always have a store of reduced cal. laughing cow cheese on hand.

              You have to make it a plan you can live with, forever, if need be. (i never even counted alcohol. if i wanted a cocktail, i would have it.) i fall off periodically and then go back to the basics of portion control, small plates, not depriving myself of anything but just not eating a lot of it, and exercise. i'm there now, starting up again (i've probably gained 8 lbs. back, but it's been almost two years since i lost my weight.) and if i wanted to splurge and eat a full on meal out, i would not skimp on anything. i'd enjoy that meal and then get right back on the plan for the next meal. just try not to do that more than once a week. after awhile, you'll be able to splurge but eat less of the splurge, so you're still exercising portion control. No deprivation, good food is our friend!

              good luck, you can do it!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: mariacarmen

                Thanks so much for the tip on eating a bowl of steamed veggies before dinner.What a great idea!

              2. I have been on WW for the last 18 months and have lost 79 lbs (11 more to go!), almost completely without the consumption of "diet" foods (artificial sweeteners*, butter/oil substitutes, low-fat and low-cal processed foods, etc)...so it's definitely doable!

                My wife and I plan EVERYTHING. EVERY meal. We don't have kids, which I'm sure makes it easier, but for me this has been instrumental because I know what I'm going to eat ahead of time and can plan accordingly. It also means we don't buy foods we don't need for meals or snacks, so we don't have extra goodies in the house that can tempt us. Planning has been key, weighing/measuring almost everything, and portion control.

                Some favorites:

                Ham and White Bean Stew from Donald Link's recent cookbook Real Cajun. I've never been able to find this online anywhere but you might be able to find the cookbook in a local library (I did) if you don't want to buy it. The recipe has a lot of flavor from the ham and from low-calorie ingredients like rosemary, mustard, and jalapeno. I halve the amount of ham and I think it's something like 5 pts a serving, which is a reasonable lunch for me.

                Slow-Cooker Lentil Soup, one of the only WW recipes I have liked and made more than once. It's 4 pts a serving and is ridiculously easy. I usually add some extra herbs etc.

                I usually have steel-cut oats for breakfast, cooked with low-fat milk, dried fruit, vanilla and cinnamon. I add a tsp of Grade B maple syrup to each serving. 4 pts and filling.

                And I agree with mariacarmen -- don't deprive yourself! I have always used all of my 35 weekly points, usually to have treats or dinners out, and planning those treats into my weeks has kept me from straying the rest of the time.

                *I do drink diet soda sometimes.

                4 Replies
                1. re: stomachofsteel

                  oooh, i confess, i forgot - tho i don't know how i could - i do absolutely drink diet coke - i have long been addicted.

                    1. re: stomachofsteel

                      Wow! Nice job! And I will check out both of those soups (lentil soup is one of our favorites).

                      1. re: girlwonder88

                        Thanks. And I am checking out the split pea soup you posted below. We just made ham for a family dinner and have a bunch left over, including the bone.

                    2. oh god - thank you for bringing this up. I think I have to find the WW recipe thread on here and start following that more than the ones I have been. I haven't been to a meeting in I don't know how long - and ashamedly admit that I even pay monthly and still don't go! TWICE! Same for my husband! WW is a great way of life - the trick is to not stray far or long. I have to find my way back.

                      1. Here's a recipe for a healthy soup that's really delicious and very satisfying. It's also got a good amount of the "chew factor" that I find absent in so many low-point dishes. It's about 7 points per 12-ounce serving. I freeze it in 12-ounce containers. Also, if I can't find 95% fat-free ground beef, I spoon out the excess fat after the meat has browned. The homemade pasta sauce included in this recipe insures the quality of the ingredients. I make my sauce with a tablespoon of olive oil, onions, garlic, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes and oregano.

                        Pasta E Fagioli
                        (Serves 8)


                        1 TB olive oil
                        1 medium onion, chopped
                        4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
                        1 pound ground beef (95% fat-free)
                        5 carrots, sliced ¼” thick
                        3 stalks of celery, chopped coarsely
                        1 can (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
                        1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
                        1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
                        48 ounces fat-free chicken broth
                        1 TB dried thyme leaves
                        24-32 ounces homemade meatless pasta sauce
                        Crushed red pepper flakes
                        Parmesan cheese rinds (optional)
                        1 cup dry ditalini (small tube) pasta, or ¼ pound frozen tortellini

                        Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and sauté until wilted. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add beef. Cook, breaking up, until no pink remains. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, beans, broth, thyme, pasta sauce and cheese rinds (if using). Simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes as desired. Add pasta* and cook until al dente.

                        *Note: If planning to freeze some of this recipe, add reduced amount of pasta only to the soup being served immediately.

                        (Optional) Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

                        1. Thank you everyone for your fabulous ideas. I'm plugging away; and I'm definitely finding it an incentive to keep up with my couch to 5K jogging plan: I know lots of folks choose not to use their activity points, but man, it's the only incentive I can find (if I run I can have a glass of wine tonight!).

                          Breakfast is my most difficult meal, as I don't like eggs without lots of add ins (like cheese and sausage in a frittata) and I'm not fond of the texture of oatmeal and other hot cereals. I do love Ellie Krieger's breakfast quinoa, with dried fruit and apple and toasted nuts-it's about 6 points but lots of nutrients and filling. I highly recommend her recipes in general-lots on the food network site, and everything I've made has been fantastic (plus she includes nutritional info, which saves a lot of hassle). Her nutty sweet potato soup is amazingly good.

                          We are eating a lot of beans right now; the CI Split Pea soup was really, really good. LIke, dreaming about it the next day, good. I like the idea of filling up with some steamed or roasted veggies before the main course; I love roasted cauliflower, and it's really filling.

                          Dreyer's slow churned peppermint ice cream is really, really good. I also have a few of the WW frozen treats in my freezer-they don't seem to have artificial sweetener in them, so I'll give them a go. Haven't tried any yet.

                          Man, this is a bad time of year to try and abstain, though. Got the new Cooks Country last week with their winning cookie recipes :(. I love to bake, and I'll definitely do some, but not as much as usual, I guess. I think my strategy will be to bake and take; take the cookies to work the next day, send em off to neighbors, stick em in the freezer.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: girlwonder88

                            "I'm not fond of the texture of oatmeal and other hot cereals. "
                            try pan-seared oatmeal...


                            and don't forget about polenta!

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              So funny! I just was reading the Thanksgiving link, discovered that recipe, and emailed it to my husband. We're definitely trying that.

                              1. re: girlwonder88

                                in case you didn't see them, i posted a few suggestions on that other thread for ways to modify or play with the flavors.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I did see them, and like your ideas. I should combine this with our long held plan of starting to do our steel cut oats in the crockpot.

                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I have Fage yogurt for breakfast every morning and find it very filling -- and even the 2% is still very low -point (the little ones with the fruit I calculated at 3 points), so you can still have milk in your coffee or juice or whatever else completes your breakfast.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I love cream of wheat ( me I make it with water but you could use 1% milk) and I always add dried cranberries. Its my favorite breakfast whether I'm dieting or not. My little one loves it too 2 pts for the cream of wheat and a sprinkle of dried cranberries maybe equal 1pt. I snack on it when I get hungry too.

                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                    Breakfast of Champions!!!!!

                                    2 Point Porridge and Fruit:

                                    1.5 cups roasted spagetti squash
                                    .5 cups fresh blueberries
                                    .5 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
                                    .5 teaspoon ghee butter
                                    .5 tablespoon brown sugar

                                    This is my favorite tracking breakfast for so many reasons. It's fulling first and foremost. I am an Acupuncturist and know a thing or two about Chinese Medicine Dietary Theory. The spleen is the key digestive organ. It flourishes from 7-9AM and needs proper nourishment. It also loves all the gourdes, yellow and orange vegetables. Squash is one of the healthiest things you can eat. A real superfood. Also eating something warm that's dairy free sets one one up for good Qi for the rest of the day.

                                    Some other notes about the recepie. I usually will roast one squash which can easily provide about 4-5 breakfasts and will keep nicely in a cold fridge for that long no probleme. I like the blueberries the best (also they are a total superfood as well). It works well with any other fruit too. Butter can be substituted for the ghee. This is a great vegan and gluten free recipe to boot.

                                    1. re: food face

                                      Neat! I would never have thought to use spaghetti squash in a porridge (pumpkin and butternet, for sure.) I will have to try this next time I see a spaghetti squash.

                                      I think the inclusion of butter or ghee keeps this from being vegan. Have you tried it with Canola or flax oil instead of the ghee? That would make it vegan, and you could count the Canola towards your healthy fats.


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Correct: Ghee is not vegan but can be eaten by those with dairy intolerances. I'm sure it would be fine with the oil for a bit of extra flavor. I like the buttery goodness of the ghee. Let us know what you think after you tried it. Enjoy.

                                2. re: girlwonder88

                                  I checked out the Cook's Illustrated site and there are three split pea soups. Which is the one you are referring to? Thanks!

                                  1. re: girlwonder88

                                    Oops, I guess I should have read the whole thread before asking for the split pea recipe. Thank you!

                                    1. re: girlwonder88

                                      Eggs with lots of add-ins -- why not add lots of veggies, and then maybe just a little bit of a sharp cheese or even crumbled bacon (a quarter of a slice, crumbled, could be plenty to flavor two eggs)?

                                      1. re: Pia

                                        You are right. I had an omlette today with fresh spinach, mushrooms a tiny bit of cheese, and diced tomatoes. It was delicous and filling. The whole thing was 310 calories, I didn't figure it down to the t, I only ate half because I was full, and so if I got 5pts that's stretching it.

                                      2. re: girlwonder88

                                        If breakfast is your hardest meal and only like lots of add ins to your eggs, why not make an egg white (and one whole egg) omelete, with a laughing cow cheese, salsa, any other veggies and a little bit of lean chicken sausage.

                                        1. re: girlwonder88

                                          Do you like yogurt? I usually eat yogurt with something like a banana & walnuts or some other fruit. Add a little honey or maple syrup. Yum

                                        2. Would you please share the CI amazing pea soup recipe?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                            Sure! This seems to be it:

                                            The use of the picnic ham, which I'd never bought before, really seemed to be the key. I could only find a 5 pound ham, so cut most the fat off, then cut some meat away to freeze for later, and threw the rest of the ham and the bone into the soup. It ends up giving you a soup with much more meat than I've seen in other recipes. I like the idea of using some vinegar to deglaze the pan that you cook the vegetables in; vinegar always adds so much to pea or bean soups.

                                            To guild the lily, we had our neighbors over for dinner, and they brought some chanterelle bisque they had made. One of them added a scoop of the bisque into the middle of her split pea soup, and the combination was fabulous. Not fabulous enough to make me do all the work of making both soups, but still, pretty damn good.

                                          2. Once you get the hang of it, WW is OK. I avoid "fake" foods too but when things get tough I sometimes buy ww bread as it is 1 point for two slices so with laughing cow and mustard and lots of sliced vegetables (radishes, yum) I can have a great low point lunch, especially if I add in a bowl of low point soup. For dinners we go heavy on the vegetables, usually 3 kinds, and dress them with a little home made vinaigrette (luckily we like things sour so add just a little oil) or go Vietnamese with fish sauce and lime juice. Often I'll make chicken drum sticks to go with, and have just one without skin, leaving lots for the rest of the family. Shrimp are good too.
                                            Once a week we eat out and assume all 35 points for that. Wine a couple nights a week, the rest of the time a diet coke or a cup of tea during dinner prep.
                                            On the whole I found that while ww recipes were good enough they didn't include enough vegetables for filler and rely too heavily on portion control. I like to eat A LOT, so need to fill up on cucumber, broccoli, zucchini etc.

                                            1. Go Girlwonder!! I lost 50 lbs. in 8 months on WW and have kept it off for two years. I learned really quickly how to alter regular recipes to fit into my lower calorie lifestyle. I went thru my arsenal of favorite dishes and simply made tweaks to them. Hardly noticed any difference (except on my waistline!!)

                                              Here are a couple of tips:
                                              If you're a bread person, choose whole wheat - perferably the lite version, but if you can't tolerate the decidedly "airy" texture, choose ww or multi-grain. The more fiber the better. Those reduced fat Pilsbury crescents are good too. When I make biscuits, it use Smart Balance sticks instead of butter/margine. Instead of buttermilk, I use almond milk with a bit of lemon juice in it.

                                              Fat free greek yogurt (Fage is my favorite brand) can substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise.

                                              I recommend that you check out Hungrygirl.com. She gives great pointers, great recipes, answers questions, give snack recommendations, plus, she gives the WW points on everything. There's also a list on her website that shows healthy substitute for some high ca/fat items. WW recipes are generally good, but sometimes you just need to veer away into different territory to keep your interest up.

                                              Good luck on your journey!!

                                              52 Replies
                                              1. re: sheilal

                                                I'm going to gently disagree, if I might. I am not a fan of hungrygirl's recipes. Yes, they are low on points and yes she is fantastically popular, but her recipes rely heavily on packaged, brand-name, faux foods.


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  TDQ-i kind of agree with you, but it's hard to disagree with someone who has lost 50 lbs. in 8 months! Sheilal-that is very impressive! i like your ideas. whatever works for you is the best thing.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    Of course whatever works for you is great and congrats to sheilal for her success and best wishes to her for continued success...

                                                    But, here on chowhound we talk about the deliciousness of recipes and I didn't find HungryGirl's recipes at all delicious or in any way appealing. I preferred the kinds of recipes that are available under the old "core" plan, which I think is now called the simply filling technique. My success was similar to sheilal's. I did find myself using Molly McButter (the best butter substitute I found) and Splenda on occasion, but I tried to avoid that when I could and just use my exercise points or "discretionary" points to cover a little bit of real sugar or real butter.

                                                    Here's my thread about what I ate under "core":


                                                    Other good sources of "Weight Watchers" friendly recipes that don't rely on fake/heavily processed foods or flog packaged commercial products as HungryGirl does:

                                                    (I like to search and sort recipes on these sites by user rating. I've had good luck with anything rated 4 or above):
                                                    Epicurious.com sorting on "healthy"
                                                    Ellie Krieger's recipes on http://www.foodnetwork.com/

                                                    Here is another good source, though, not rating by users unfortunately, so, more hit or miss in terms of deliciousness but more reliable in terms of healthfulness:
                                                    Mayo Clinic

                                                    If you want solid recipes for what to do with whole grains and tofu:

                                                    Heidi Swanson
                                                    Whole Foods (believe it or not! Also, you can sort by user rating).

                                                    I never felt healthier or looked better than when I was on core. I had great energy. My skin looked great. My hair and nails looked great, etc. I loved it.

                                                    Good luck!


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      I wholeheartedly agree. Her recipes have never appealed to me, precisely because of the reliance on so many faux foods. However, I will say that I've never tried any of them so I can't comment on whether or not they actually taste good. I know people who swear by them, but they aren't for me. The cutesy names and the chummy tone of the emails bug me, too.

                                                      1. re: stomachofsteel

                                                        I tried one or two at the urging of some people at meetings who said I wouldn't be disappointed. And I was. Unfortunately, I don't remember which they were. But, it was enough to put me off all of her recipes, period. I wouldn't mind the cutesy names so much if the food tasted great!


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          The one recipe I like- box of brownie mix + can of pumpkin. Don't remember what it's called, but she's got a hundred variations on it. I've only made it in a brownie pan, but my aunt has made it in mini cupcake tins, and in a tube pan. The tube pan version came out pretty cool- looked like a sunken chocolate mousse cake.

                                                          1. re: cheesecake17

                                                            The sounds pretty good, actually. :)


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              It's really good! I made it because I love pumpkin, but really, you'd never know there was any pumpkin involved.

                                                              Also.. I've heard good things about the "egg mug" recipes but I've never tried them

                                                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                That brownie mix/pumpkin has been around for years, including passed around in the WW online forums 10 or more years ago. I'm just saying, hungry girl did not come up with it, but glad to hear it tastes good.

                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                  You can also do the dry cake mix with 10 oz of club soda - also a WW suggestion. You can also use different flavors of diet soda, but I find the club soda the best.

                                                                  1. re: synergy

                                                                    a friend made me a lovely "orange chiffon" cake for my birthday - white cake mix and a can of diet orange soda. :)

                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                last night I made a variation on this.. 1 can pumpkin + 1 box duncan hines yellow cake mix. I added some cinnamon and baked it in an 8x8 pan. Came out pretty good... husband called it pumpkin spice cake.

                                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                  I don't know why, but it kind of reminds me of the black bean brownie recipe that has been circulating around WW for years. I've never tried it, but always mean to.


                                                                  Heidi Swanson has a version that has more butter, but less flour. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                                                                  You'd have to run the numbers to see which is lower in points.

                                                                  And all of these recipes remind me of Alton Brown's lentil cookies, which I just recently heard about here on chowhound. Haven't tried it yet, either. (Notice the trend that I never seem to find time to bake?).


                                                                  I've made a modified version of his Moo-Less Chocolate Cake, which was pretty interesting.


                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    I tried this version of black bean chocolate cake made with honey.


                                                                    The honey flavor was too overpowering for my tastes, but the texture was good and the recipe did work in general. I'd like to try again only I may just use plain old sugar as I don't care to go out and buy erythritol, or maybe maple syrup. No flour in this, surprisingly, so it's gluten free. I'd like to perfect it for a friend of mine who has wheat and corn allergies.

                                                                    1. re: Jen76

                                                                      I shall add it to my list of baked goods I mean to make but never get around to trying. :). Gosh, I don't even know what erythritol is (maybe there's a brand name I know it by?), so, I agree with you, maybe use a different kind of sweetener.

                                                                      Here's another I'll probably never try: flourless chocolate beet cake http://www.hellgatecsa.com/blog/20080...

                                                                      Still has a fair amount of butter though.

                                                                      Or a chocolate and roasted beet pudding cake http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/...

                                                                      Flourless carrot cake? http://dinewithdonna.blogspot.com/201...

                                                                      Would have to run the points on all of these to see if they are worth it at all. I had a one point WW biscotti recipe that I like. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5818...

                                                                      Or, quinoa pudding with skim or lowfat milk. I skip the breadcrumbs, add fresh berries instead of dried fruit, and cut back the sugar a little. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...


                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        Erythritol is a type of sugar alchohol which is a more natural sweetener (than say splenda or SNL) often used by diabetics. I used it to bake brownies for my Aunt when she was going through cancer treatments, but haven't used it since she passed away.


                                                                        1. re: Jen76

                                                                          Thank you for the info, Jen. I shall look into that. I sorry to hear about your Aunt, but I think it's wonderful that you could be supportive of her by baking her brownies.


                                                                      2. re: Jen76

                                                                        @Jen76, say the word if you need help troubleshooting - many of us have a lot of experience with GF baking. in the meantime, i'd definitely add some espresso powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) to amp up the chocolate flavor.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          That's a good idea, ghg. Thanks! She's not necessarily GF, just wheat/corn free so no corn related products either.

                                                                          1. re: Jen76

                                                                            right, i meant to warn you that you'll have to be sure to use corn-free baking powder! and if you're making frosting, corn-free confectioners sugar as well.

                                                                            you're a good friend :)

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              Never ceases to amaze me the foods one finds some sort of corn derivative in! You know, I didn't even know baking powder has that. Where do I find the corn-free kind? Whole Foods?

                                                                              1. re: Jen76

                                                                                you can get Featherweight Baking Powder at Safeway. it's GF and corn-free.

                                                                                or, instead of buying a specialty product, just make your own substitute - use 1/4 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tartar for every teaspoon of baking powder. easy peasy :)

                                                                                isn't it insane the way these allergens are in random, unexpected products?

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                  The corn allergy is almost harder than the wheat allergy, nowadays. It seems like there's corn in everything!

                                                                                2. re: Jen76

                                                                                  If you should need confectioners' sugar, I don't know if you have Trader Joe's where you are (Phoenix, IIRC), but TJ's organic powdered sugar is made with tapioca starch, not cornstarch. I believe Hain powdered sugar, which should be available at whole Foods or natural foods markets, is corn-free as well.

                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                    I never even thought of TJ's and I was just there. D'oh! Thanks!

                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                      Jen, you can also find powdered sugar with tapioca starch instead of corn starch at Whole Foods, under either their label (365?) or from Wholesome Sweeteners brand. I've used both, and while they're a little more clumpy than the C&H confectioner's sugar, they both work fine.

                                                                                      1. re: amyzan

                                                                                        Thanks, I did see that there. Good to know for when I get around to trying to make these again.

                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    i found most of the people at meetings were people who didn't cook very much and relied heavily on the WW brand of frozen meals (Smart Ones) and other prepared food, so ... yeah, makes sense. not criticizing. i felt bad that they were missing out on just simple preparations of whole foods, but I know it's hard starting out. Already daunting when you're facing a diet/exercise plan and have to feed a family too.

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      A great book for someone starting from scratch, so to speak, on learning to plan meals plan, and cook is Mayo Clinic's Healthy Weight for Everybody. (That's the Mayo Clinic as in the world-renowned research facility, not John Mayo's fad diet of the 70's.) It's available on Amazon for a dollar or two, plus shipping. Comes with a 12 week meal plan (with shopping lists) and some recipes. Also, explains a little of the science behind weight loss and analyzes different kinds of diets, tells you how to read labels, and gives you ideas for ingredient substitutions. Also, it has a great section on overcoming various motivational challenges. You just look up "too tired?" or "Too busy?" and they give you some ideas about how to deal with that., The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook has all of the recipes from Healthy Weight for Everybody plus many more. All very compatible with WW. THere's a companion books, "Healthy Fitness for Everybody" which I own, but have never read. (Maybe I should).

                                                                      I used to keep 2-3 "Smart Ones" in the freezer at the office for "emergencies," ie., for days I forgot to bring my lunch or when I unexpectedly had to work late and needed dinner. But, then I switched to keeping a box of boca burgers, whole wheat pita bread (individually bagged in ziplock baggies), and bags of frozen veggies. The boca burger and veggies could be cooked in microwave and the pita in the toaster. That would be just 2-3 points. Nowadays, I keep those vegetable soups (tomato, mushroom, butternut squash) in the shelf-stable boxes (I can't think of what those boxes are called right now, need more coffee) in my drawer to heat up for emergencies. I think these kinds of conveniences are helpful, especially while you're in weight loss mode, but you don't want to rely on them too heavily or you won't really have developed any skills for cooking real food once you're in maintenance mode. I used to joke is that the reason your weight loss should be gradual is so you have time to develop new habits and skills. Same as for why it takes 9 months to have a baby. So, you have time so you'll be ready when the baby comes.

                                                                      Maybe Weight Watchers should host cooking clinics. They always teach them to shop and cook on the Biggest Loser.

                                                                      Of course, we 'hounds have access to the wonderful home cooking board for ideas!


                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        "Maybe Weight Watchers should host cooking clinics. They always teach them to shop and cook on the Biggest Loser."

                                                                        THAT is a fantastic idea. seriously, cooking and shopping! i'm seirous, a lot of the women i was in a meeting with had no idea. wow..... my mind is spinning... how do i get that gig??

                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              I am restarted WW and this is a gift a friend of mine gave to me...unfortunately it does do a lot of packaged and brand name foods while I am trying to be more of a less processed eater. I feel badly though because my friend just hit goal on WW.

                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                Everyone has to find his or her own path, Melpy. Some (many) people like hungrygirl's recipes, some do not. If you think her recipes are delicious and support you during your weightloss journey, then go for it. For instance, the recipe cheesecake17 posted above sounds kind of intriguing. It really doesn't have to be all or nothing, unless that's how you want it to be.

                                                                Maybe you can ask your friend if she has any particular favorites from the book? Try those first and if you like them, well, maybe it's not such a terrible thing.


                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                I agree that some recipes at Hungrygirl do tend to be processed-food heavy (depending on what you define as processed). But I'm a single gal with only one mouth to feed. I work 60 hours a week and go to school part-time - convenience is a must. It's easier to boil ready made whole wheat pasta than mix it up myself and run thru the pasta attachment.

                                                                Someone else's needs and journey will be very different from mine.

                                                                1. re: sheilal

                                                                  I'm glad you've found her recipes helpful. Do you have any favorites to recommend? I'm certainly willing to keep an open mind. Because, hey, losing weight deliciously and successfully is hard to argue with!

                                                                  For the record, I don't consider whole wheat pasta to be a faux, processed food in quite the same way as I consider things like splenda, cool whip, sugar free syrup. Those latter things are what I mean when I refer to HG's overreliance on processed foods. For instance, here are some ingredients I consider faux foods that I pulled off the ingredients list from the very first recipe that pops in the search results when you do a search on "recipes" on her site:

                                                                  1/2 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
                                                                  1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original
                                                                  )1/4 cup sugar-free pancake syrup
                                                                  1/4 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed
                                                                  1 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)

                                                                  Now, I've said that I used Splenda on occasion, but including splenda along with all of the above items in a single recipe add up to too much non-food for my tastes. I'm even conceding the fat-free cream cheese and the Fiber One cereal the recipe calls for. Now, I haven't tried that recipe. Maybe it's delicious. But, I don't even see how that recipe is all that convenient.

                                                                  Here's the second recipe I could find on her site:
                                                                  5 oz. (about 2/3 cup) So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
                                                                  5 large strawberries
                                                                  1/4 tsp. coconut extract
                                                                  2 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda or Truvia)

                                                                  The strawberries sound great, but the rest, again, seems like a little too much non-food. If you're going to add coconut extract, do you really need the unsweetened coconut milk "beverage". Why not actual skim milk, even mixed in with some actual coconut milk?

                                                                  Since you're short on time (as I am--full time career plus 3 volunteer gigs) if you are a crockpot person, several of the recipes in that core thread I linked are crock pot recipes, which I found to be super helpful on those days when I had too much to do and not much time to cook something plan-friendly.

                                                                  If you get tired of whole wheat pasta and you're looking for a fast meal, fast cooking whole grains do exists: bulgar only takes about 10 minutes. Here's a quick bulgar recipe http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6804... It calls for canned beans, but I think those are ok in the name of convenience. (If you can plan ahead a little, you can cook them in the crock pot, completely unattended, and then freeze them in batches. Super easy. Takes almost no more time than opening a can. But, you do have to plan ahead.)

                                                                  Quinoa takes about 20. Here's a quinoa recipe that takes 20 mins once you get the water boiling. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6804... I like to do these whole grains in my rice cooker so that I don't even have to watch them, really. They can cook while I shower and do the rest of my morning routine.

                                                                  Par-cooked polenta is fast, too.

                                                                  The fastest whole wheat pasta I've found is orzo. There are a couple of Giada orzo recipes I like to modify: reduce the quantity of oil; reduce the amount of cheese and you're good to go.

                                                                  (you can follow just the orzo recipe for this one) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...


                                                                  If you're short on time, I'm a big an advocate of frozen fruits and vegs. I always have frozen berries of all kinds and peaches in my freezer for smoothies. I always have frozen broccoli and frozen corn, too. Easy to heat up stove top or in microwave. Frozen edamame is a great snack.

                                                                  Fish and shrimp are great to have in the freezer. Low points and they defrost and cook quickly. I love my toaster oven for this because it doesn't take long to heat up. It also is a fantastic solution if you're cooking for one. Here are Eric Ripert's toaster oven recipes, which are easily modified to be WW friendly in the case of the snapper, shrimp, frittata, roasted bananas with rosemary. http://aveceric.com/wp/recipes/get-to...


                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    I also do not consider whole wheat pasta (or any pasta) a faux food. Homemade pasta is great, but I don't think most of us -- even the most committed from-scratch cooks -- are making it with any regularity. I haven't done it in over a decade. Like The Dairy Queen, I'm referring more to products that are created as lower-calorie or lower-fat versions of certain foods, but are NOT those foods -- e.g., Splenda which is not sugar, Brummel & Brown which is not butter, sugar-free pancake syrup which is not maple syrup. These are all foods HG champions, and I simply don't like them. I don't think the reduced calories/fat are worth the reduced (or altered) taste, and I don't like consuming all the chemicals that are added to make up for what has been taken out. Dried pasta is still pasta, and unless you're getting one that's enriched with extra Omega-3s or something, the ingredient list is pretty short.

                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                      People often drink unsweetened coconut milk because they stay away from dairy. Dairy milk being good for us in another debate.

                                                                      1. re: spinachandchocolate

                                                                        So Delicious is actual coconut, in fact, not a "faux" food. Not everyone who avoids dairy is inclined to crack open a coconut and get out the Vitamix to make fresh coconut milk each morning. I think it qualifies as a real food, albeit "alternative" to some. I'm no supporter of the Hungry Girl website, but there are viable reasons for such recipes.

                                                                        That amount of artificial sweetener would be nauseating, btw. I'd stick with the natural sugars in the strawberries, personally. I found this to be almost universally true of popular recipes at WW meetings when I attended back oh, maybe six years ago. I must just have much less of a sweet tooth than the average dieter. befuddling, 'cause I think of myself as someone who loves all that sweet stuff...to be honest, I got very few usable recipes at those meetings. I sort of came to the unfortunate conclusion that I eat radically differently than many people.

                                                                        1. re: amyzan

                                                                          Of course, if you have some broader reason to avoid dairy something like the "So Delicious" makes sense as an ingredient in a smoothie. I definitely agree that the average home cook doesn't have time to make her own coconut milk from scratch! (When Charmaine Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook was COTM I learned you can make coconut milk from desiccated coconut, actually, which is a slight short-cut from cracking open a coconut and making milk from the flesh! Still, too much effort for everyday cooking, at least for me.)

                                                                          I didn't know "So Delicious" had some actual coconut milk in it. My apologies. I'm more familiar with coconut milk from a can (some brands of which are better than others--I like the Chaokoh brand). I confess that I'm skeptical of anything that has "beverage" in its title like that because it usually means "this is a substitute". I therefore assumed it was a faux food. In this case I suspect they are saying "beverage" to make it more clear their product doesn't have dairy in it.

                                                                          It looks like it's mostly coconut milk, water, and a bunch of preservative/stabilizing type ingredients (http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/p...), so, again, it just seems to me coconut milk (from a can with fewer preservatives and stabilizing ingredients) plus water would make just as much sense in a smoothie recipe that you're going to blend up. A lot of those extra ingredients are often put in there to give the product a more homogenized texture, which you might prefer if you were drinking it on its own, but maybe don't really need if you're blending it into a smoothie anyway.

                                                                          I agree with your point about the artificial sweetener. To be honest, though, there was a time when I was following core that I was more willing to use Splenda or a Splenda/Sugar mix in a recipe in order to stay on plan. Splenda was core and there was this rule that more than 2 non-core ingredients in any recipe turned the whole thing "non-core", but towards the end of that journey, I gave up on most of the Splenda and just tried to use less real sugar (or honey or agave or molasses) and counted the points.

                                                                          I drink my share of diet cola, so, for me personally, that's the vice I probably ought to cut out if I'm really being honest about making the most healthful choices for myself. And, really, I think all of this is about making better choices. I should really think about cutting back (out) on my Diet cola. Hmmmmm...maybe an early new years resolution?


                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            I could never tolerate the artificial sweeteners - they make my throat feel scratchy and just taste horrible to me - but I was a total soda-holic. I still crave it. I've been drinking Pellegrino lately which helps with the cravings a little. It has a "finer" fizz than Perrier which I like better. I get cases of it at Costco.

                                                                            1. re: Jen76

                                                                              Sadly, I think I have gotten used to the taste of artificial sweeteners after all of these years of Diet cola.

                                                                              I make my own soda using a Soda Club machine (which I love.) What I should really do is just make fizzy water using the soda club machine and find more natural ways to flavor it.


                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                              I would rather eat guar gum than sodium metabisulfate, which is what's in Chaokoh and many other canned coconut milks. Just a personal preference, because sulfates are more a of a problem for those with respiratory concerns than a gum made from a bean.

                                                                              I'm suspicious of Splenda b/c of that Norwegain study that found gut bacteria activity was lowered by up to 50% of those ingesting sucralose. I need all the immunity I can get with these allergic sensitivities, and so prefer not to eat artificial foods with shady credentials.
                                                                              In theory, I'm all for "to each her own," but it sure gets tricky with some of the stuff out in the markets. I sometimes have to research new products before I'll buy them, which is a pain, but probably worth the effort.

                                                                              1. re: amyzan

                                                                                It is worth the effort to do the research!

                                                                                That is very interesting about the Norwegian study. I never remember which sweeteners are sucralose and which are aspartame. But, neither can be that good for you, right? I've got a lot going on right now, but I really think I might give up diet cola in the new year. You just keep nudging me!


                                                                                1. re: amyzan

                                                                                  i know i'm late on this, but in case either of you sees it...

                                                                                  @amyzan, don't risk it with sucralose, particularly considering your sensitivities. i almost ended up in the ER after trying it because the resulting abdominal pain was so severe i was convinced i had appendicitis...either that, or there was an alien life form trying to claw its way out of my digestive tract.

                                                                                  @TDQ, Splenda is sucralose, Equal & Nutrasweet are aspartame. and you're right, none of them are good for you ;)

                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    Oh my, ghg, the hospital, huh? Thanks for sharing, sincerely.

                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        So I took a look at Hungrygirl and although most recipes don't appeal to me I was finally inspired to take the plunge and buy those shirataki noodles. I made a sort of faux pad thai with them and it was OK. I can't imagine the noodles with a tomato or cream sauce but they were pretty good after much washing/boiling/frying. So thanks for the mild controversy - it "made me look." : )

                                                                        1. re: waver

                                                                          Yeah, the shirataki noodles work okay in Asian applications. Hey, if you're cooking Vietnamese, no need to add fish sauce! They still aren't my favorite, though. I'd rather used zucchini ribbons or something instead, if I didn't want to use pasta made from some kind of grain. Something along the lines of these






                                                                          A little out of season, but spaghetti squash is spectacular this time of year. And microwave friendly if you are crunched for time.

                                                                          http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/spaghet... (watch the cheese on this one).

                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em... (I'll bet you can use a little olive oil instead of the butter on this one).

                                                                          P.S. wasn't trying to stir up controversy. Just trying to offer up some feasible alternatives to HG's faux food recipes. I just don't see how there's any nutritional substance in a lot of what she recommends. But. we each have to find our own way...


                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            The fake food approach may not work for me or you... but lots of people I know follow hungry-girl religiously. Her tips about eating out in restaurants (granted they're chain restaurants) don't really apply to me but can be applied to other restaurants as well. Kind of like an "eat this not that" type of thing. I know friends who travel and have to eat in Cheesecake Factory type places appreciate the tips and suggestions on what to order.

                                                                            The fake food recipes are definitely not my thing, but the tips can be somewhat helpful. For instance.. what to order at Starbucks as a treat, which frozen meals taste best, canned soups with the most fiber. Hey.. she turned me on to almond breeze!

                                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                              Absolutely, different things work for different people. It will be interesting to see how the HG foods approach that I find so frustrating works under the new plan. It sounds like food with more nutritional substance is going have lower points than other kinds of food, all things being equal otherwise.

                                                                              I think the WW dining out guide works great for chain restaurants, if you find yourself needing (or wanting) to eat at chains a lot. Fits in your purse. Even the basic plan booklet has some info for the most common food items at the most chains. Those points values are shockingly not as obvious as you'd think! Of course, since chains are supposed to have the nutritional guidelines available, you could look up the points the old-fashioned way if you had to.

                                                                              If I have to eat out at a chain, which happens more often than I care to admit (today for lunch, for instance), usually because it's a work thing, I often consult the website before I go and make my choice then. But, you don't always have that kind of luxury of time.


                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                Re menu consulting... my husband goes on business lunches pretty often. We keep kosher (he'll eat something vegetarian from the menu) and he wants to eat relatively healthy. He prints out a menu or gets a takeout menu and marks his choices. If he knows in the morning he's going to restaurant X, he glances at his menu and figured out what he'll attempt to eat ahead of time.

                                                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                  Yep, that approach works very well. Your husband is very wise. It also helps with your own menu planning at home, because you might find that you have to change what you were planning on cooking for dinner because if the only think you can have at restaurant X for lunch is, say, pasta, then you know you probably won't want to have pasta for dinner.


                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    That's exactly what I do! He usually finds out where he's going the day of the lunch, so he lets me know how hungry he is for dinner before I get home from work. Sometimes it's just soup and a turkey burger for dinner or a big salad.

                                                                                    I think he's pretty lucky because most of his clients are weight concious women. No one pokes fun at him if he orders a salad with grilled tuna or an appetizer as an entree.

                                                                              2. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                One of the problems with her recipes is the higher sodium content compared to the original recipe due to the use of processed foods

                                                                      3. I've been on ww for 92 days and i've lost 29 lbs. 3 more lbs to goal.

                                                                        the skinny gina website is pretty good. not too many fake foods.

                                                                        the take out tonight cookbook is great. on sale for 5 bucks on ww.com because the whole plan is changing on 11/28. fruits are free!!

                                                                        this week i'm making:
                                                                        the gen tso chix from takeout tonight, i'll have it with some ling ling postickers, and some white rice.
                                                                        coconut curry squash soup from skinny gina
                                                                        roasted veggies
                                                                        pork tenderloin
                                                                        sloppy joes
                                                                        slow cooker enchiladas
                                                                        hot and sour soup

                                                                        really, most of my recipes aren't modified. i just put them in the recipe builder and figure out the points for a reasonable portion and plan my day around that. if i want cheese pizza for dinner, i have a garden burger on a light english for lunch and a cup of zero point cauliflower soup (2 pts). a bag of popcorn as a snack (1 pts). and an entire grapefruit and a yogurt for breakfast (2-3 pts). and i have enough for 4 small pieces. which is enough.

                                                                        oh and always skinny cow ice cream sandwiches.

                                                                        really it's about portion control. those bastards want you to make healthy food choices, eat reasonable portions, and exersize. i hate them. ;o)

                                                                        29 Replies
                                                                        1. re: eLizard

                                                                          I like that book Take Out Tonight, too.

                                                                          Haven't heard of skinny gina. Might have a peek!

                                                                          Congrats on your success. (Agree! Those meanies at WW making us make healthy food choices, eat reasonable portions, and exercise. Especially the exercise! Curse them, HA!)


                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                              the more you exersize the more you can eat. but the more you lose the more you have to exersize to earn the same amount of points that you did when you were heavier.

                                                                              here's the skinny gina site: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/a...

                                                                              none of the recipes i listed relies on fake food. unless you count lite tofu or lite coconut milk.

                                                                              1. re: eLizard

                                                                                Thanks for the link!

                                                                                Lite coconut milk just has water added to it. Water's not fake, so, it's fine in my book, although it's probably a better value to buy regular coconut milk and water it down yourself, assuming the prices are comparable. You can freeze any leftovers.

                                                                                I think, but am not certain, that lite tofu is a similar story. Just a higher percentage of water, though I'm not 100% sure.


                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  with all the point values changing in a week and a half i'm curious to see what happens to her website.

                                                                                  and thanks for the info on the lite items.

                                                                                2. re: eLizard

                                                                                  just a note that i think you posted the wrong link.

                                                                                  shouldn't this be it?

                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    Oh, some of the recipes in that link do look good. And, actual green vegetables are featured! I can always use some cooking help with veggies.


                                                                                    1. re: eLizard

                                                                                      sorry - late to this thread - and sitting in my gym clothes trying to get the inspiration to get to the gym to sign up for a gifted one month membership that had already expired and they extended it again for me ---- and an old WW core member ---and VERY UPSET NOW about my weight --- but that was all TMI ---- the above link for skinny gina didn't connect - I will google it - but perhaps you can repost ?

                                                                                      whoops - hadn't read further - thanks GHG for the correct link!

                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                        smilingal, I, too, had that horrible moment of getting on the scale and realizing it's so much worse than I feared. Don't beat yourself up over this. You're already on your way to getting things under control. You know how to do this: just dust yourself off, and get yourself back in the gym and back on plan. See if you can't at least try to track what you eat for the next couple of days and get some exercise in, even walking around the block, you'll start to feel more in control.

                                                                                        I had a lot of luck on plan with Grace Young's stir-fry recipes during January when it was cookbook of the month. Perhaps give some of these a go? Easy and healthful and quick, so that you have more time to work out!



                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          I also found this recipe (with modifications) for Southwest Chicken and Green Chile Stew from Molly O'Neill's "One Big Table" easy, delicious, and plan friendly. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7609...


                                                                                          1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                            thanks JV! - still am dodging the exercise and diet - GRRRR! But I bought steel cut oats this past weekend - now to make it! lol

                                                                                    2. re: eLizard

                                                                                      ELizard: but don't you LOOOOOOVE the way you look and feel??
                                                                                      a friend of mine says "nothing tastes as good as being in shape feels."

                                                                                      really, fruits are going to be free??? i've got to get back to a meeting.

                                                                                      I do love finding foods that feel like you're cheating but are so point friendly - such as popcorn.

                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                        love popcorn.

                                                                                        i do feel great. i'm loving shopping. BUT, i've heard the saying "nothing tastes as good as thin feels," and i have to disagree. LOTS of things taste that good. that's why i got fat! ;o)

                                                                                        1. re: eLizard

                                                                                          secretly, i totally agree with you! but taste only lasts a few minutes, and thin is every day!

                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                          yes, the rollout is on the 28th at meetings. sunday after turkey day. i'm an online member, so i'll have to wait until monday to find out. biggest change in 13 years they say.

                                                                                          1. re: eLizard

                                                                                            That is pretty interesting, actually. The last major change was about 5-6 years ago when they rolled out the core plan in (I think) 2004/2005. I thought that was pretty major, so, if this is bigger than that, I guess it's pretty big. Maybe 13 years ago was when they switched from "exchanges" to points. So, maybe they are ditching "points" now. I liked exchanges, actually. It made you think in terms of food groups, actually. As in, I've had my X number of servings of dairy today, my X servings of produce, etc. It was a very natural way of monitoring your own intake and making sure you were both on plan and eating a balance diet.

                                                                                            I hope my WW cookbooks aren't all rendered obsolete! I like some of my WW cookbooks, especially Take Out Tonight, from Stir Fry to Szechuan, and a Mexican one I can't think of the name of right now. I hope we don't find out that all of those recipes are egregious.(I'm assuming we won't--I've lost and kept weight off with those.)


                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              i love takeout tonight. and the points are all going to be different. it's going to be called pointsplus or propoints. and values are all going up. but you get more dailies and weeklies. they say this is the biggest change since going from exchange to flex. you can stay on momentum/flex and the cookbooks will all be the same (you'll have to do it on your own, though. ww won't be supporting those plans), but i think you have to join to find out the double secret probation new formula. which instead of being based on calories fat and fiber will now be based on carbs, fat, fiber, protein. the idea is that all 100 calorie snacks are not equal. and apple takes more energy to digest and will keep you fuller than a 100 calorie snack pack of oreos. which is why all 100 calorie food will be different values. fruit = free. oreos....it's anyone's guess.

                                                                                              1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                thanks for the info. i'll go to a meeting.

                                                                                                1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                  Yes, that's what I figure. I can cook from the books for as long as I want to really.

                                                                                                  I think this is a great step, actually. I mean, OF COURSE say, a handful of walnuts should be worth more (or, in the weird world of points, less) than a handful of oreos. Calorie for calorie, walnuts are a better choice than oreos.

                                                                                                  And I don't care what they said before, I ate all of the fruit I want without counting it, as long as I'd already eaten enough vegetables. If eating 2 apples when I was hungry kept me from getting a Snickers bar, it was totally worth it.


                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                    agree 100% about the fruit. sounds like they're coming to that conclusion too, with the new program.

                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                      If fresh fruit were my primary weakness, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't ever need WW. :).


                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        no, you're right. if only they could make bacon and potato chips 1 point....

                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                  I live in the UK and the plan changed last week here- so far I like the change to the ProPoints. You get a weekly "play" allowance up front to use or not. Points are now calculated on protien, carbs, fat, and fibre. Not a huge change on stuff like chicken breast but big changes on purchased foods or eating out foods. Of course, now you have to buy all new materials.

                                                                                                  Also, for those who love to bake & eat cakes- the spiced applesauce cake I made from Smitten Kitchen (I skipped the cream cheese frosting because it was so moist it didn't need, just dusted with confectioners sugar) came in on my plan manager at just 3 points per slice. Yay!

                                                                                                  1. re: crispysaltysweet

                                                                                                    That is just fantastic that WW is effectively steering people toward "real food." It's not that you can't eat the fake food, but it won't seem quite as enticing based on points values. Here's a little more, including some "pro"points values for some foods . http://www.examiner.com/weight-loss-i...


                                                                                                    [Edit: when I look at the list, though, whole wheat pasta has MORE propoints than regular pasta and brown and white rice have the same propoints. Am I missing something here? Doesn't seem like a real push in the direction I was expecting. And, hey, what is gammon steak? It's 6 propoints, so, I hope it's good!].


                                                                                            2. re: eLizard

                                                                                              congrats to you eL. I have about this much to lose before I have surgery. I tried to start it seriously early this month, but failed. Stress, my cravings, and the holidays make me want to cook. I cook a lot of desserts lately, I don't eat them, but have been testing for TDay and Christmas. My hubby loves dessert, so he's happily trying it all out.

                                                                                              I darn near went broke on the WW choclate and latte bars!!! I had to have a box of each, and believe me I could not eat just one. Then I switched to Sunnyside cherry yogurt, omg. Now I have to stop that too, because I was eating huge bowls a couple times a day. I am ready now to be fully engaged in WW again. I've got my eye on you, don't know what your target weight is but congrat again. Since I love enchiladas or any Mexican dish, can you tell me how you did your enchiladas, I don't need an exact recipe, just the ingredients and process would be fine. I am interested on the slow cookier process and how you made these. yum.

                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                Too funny, when I have those ww bars in the house I eat more sweets than ever. Those crazy red velvet bars are so weird, but I keep eating them just to figure them out.

                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                  thanks so much. i've hit goal since i last posted, and tomorrow i'll learn the new plan. also since i've last posted i've had some unplanned surgery which delayed my reply to you.... ok, for the slow cooker enchiladas...

                                                                                                  here's what i do:
                                                                                                  a pound of frozen chicken breasts (you can use thawed) and a combination or all of the following:
                                                                                                  "taco-ish" seasonings.....i don't buy the packets, but i use the same spices.
                                                                                                  can of rotel
                                                                                                  half a jar of salsa (I always use this)
                                                                                                  green salsa herdez brand is what i use (i always use this).
                                                                                                  a jalepeno
                                                                                                  diced green chilis

                                                                                                  i've even added a can of lo fat cream of 'shroom condensed soup, but it didn't really add anything....so now i don't

                                                                                                  let 'er rip on low for 6-8. shred in a bowl, add some enchilada juice, 3 T of lite or regular cr cheese. i use the reduced fat. and mix.

                                                                                                  i use 6 inch corn tortillas, dip them quickly in the enchilada sauce, put a dollop of filling in, roll, splash some enchilada sauce on top. sprinkle 1/2 C shredded cheese.... i use part skim mozz. bake until cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbly. 2 enchiladas (with the lite cheeses) are 7 points. plus a half a cup of brown rice (2 pts) and 1/2 C of refried beans (2 pts), and it's not a bad meal.

                                                                                                  again, points values are changing tomorrow on the pointsplus plan.

                                                                                                  best of luck.

                                                                                              2. Last night I made the sloppy joe's from Skinny Gina's website. This was good and included many vegetables, so I also felt good about giving it to my 16 month old son. I also made the 0 point vegetable soup (Mexcian-style) from the weight watchers website. It was *okay*--can't beat 0 points, I guess.

                                                                                                I've found Gina's recipes to be quite good, and I also use quite a few from Eating Well. Eating spicy food tends to help me to eat less, and I generally don't mind substituting ground turkey for other ground meats. I love a ma po tofu that I got from someone on Chowhound, but I substitute ground turkey for the pork and basically don't notice.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mayjay

                                                                                                  I love ma po tofu. Good call on subbing ground turkey. Usually we just go totally vegetarian on it. I think I have the same affinity for spicy foods that you do!


                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                    Can you please share your recipe for the Ma Po Tofu...I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dish and would love to make a WW friendly version at home

                                                                                                    1. re: stack_c

                                                                                                      Well, I just adapt Dunlop's: http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes/m... subbing my day's allowance of "healthy" fat for the peanut oil and omitting the ground pork. (You don't need as much oil if you don't have to fry the ground pork.) Here's the revised ingredients list. The directions are basically the same as in the link, except I use an enameled Dutch oven instead of a wok. (P.S. I misspoke. It's not vegetarian because it has chicken stock...).

                                                                                                      Serves 4

                                                                                                      12-16 oz lite silken tofu
                                                                                                      8 tsp canola oil
                                                                                                      2 clove(s) garlic
                                                                                                      2 small leeks or scallions
                                                                                                      2 Tbsp Thai Kitchen Roasted red chili paste
                                                                                                      2 Tbsp fermented black beans
                                                                                                      1 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
                                                                                                      2 tsp sugar
                                                                                                      2 tsp soy sauce
                                                                                                      4 Tbsp cornstarch


                                                                                                  2. re: mayjay

                                                                                                    I agree, most Asian dishes you can sub the turkey for the pork or beef nicely, it really takes flavors on in a very good way that no one notices and now I have my sons using it. I make the most wonderful Thai lettuce wraps with turkey, they copy them and use the turkey too. In fact I'd use it diet or not. I make turkey canneloni too that was copied after veal, with a bechamel sauce. Tastes great. Not especially a WW dish but its so good.

                                                                                                  3. I just started weight watchers for the first time and it is working well for me so far.
                                                                                                    Once or twice a week I make Indian peas or Indian zucchini with a small side of basmati rice and a little homemade raita with lowfat yogurt. It is very low in points- I don't use much oil, the veggies are low, and the small portion of rice and yogurt do not add up that much. I find it a very filling meal.

                                                                                                    Soups are in regular rotation for me in fall/winter months (I am checking out that CI split pea soup recipe!)- and I make squash apple soup, leek potato soup with vermouth, and ginger carrot soup.

                                                                                                    When I crave pasta, I boil a small portion of whole wheat and mix it with a ton of veggies- most often broccoli with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

                                                                                                    I make lightened versions of asian orange chicken and sesame chicken. Instead of deep frying, you can just saute chicken with a mix of broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, fresh flavorings like orange juice, honey, etc. and add it to the wok with veggies.

                                                                                                    I am a huge dessert addict, and I have calmed my sweet cravings with baked spiced apples, or a few oz of dark chocolate dunked in mint tea.

                                                                                                    Hope some of those ideas are of use to you! Good luck, fellow WW disciple. :)

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: eviemichael

                                                                                                      Baked spiced apples for dessert is a great idea! Also, this time of year, pears. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/rie... Or, try this recipe of Eric Ripert's, omit the butter and cut back on the booze: http://blog.aveceric.com/2008/09/17/r... He does something similar with mango.

                                                                                                      Weirdly, I like pineapple chunks sprinkled with chili powder. Oh, and frozen grapes!


                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        That's so funny I actually make that Eric Ripert banana dessert recently! Loved it. I actually kept the butter since I hadn't taken up many of my points that day. :)
                                                                                                        I loooove frozen grapes but they are dangerous-I literally cannot stop eating them.

                                                                                                        I just made zucchini fritters (kolokithokeftedes-a lightened Greek recipe) that are as huge as big burger patties and they are only 2.5 points each. I am not frying them, I am baking them...they are in the oven now. I hope they will still taste ok un-fried!

                                                                                                        1. re: eviemichael

                                                                                                          Oh smart idea baking the fritters. I hope they taste great!

                                                                                                          Funny, I don't recall if I've ever had banana and rosemary together before, but when I read that recipe of Eric Ripert's, it immediately sounded appealing.


                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            I felt the same way. It made sense to me right when I read it. I'm such a dessert fiend, it is a great joy whenever I come across a recipe that isn't made up of 50% heavy cream or butter. ;)

                                                                                                      2. re: eviemichael

                                                                                                        how do you make your indian dishes...chinese and indian are my 2 fav foods...and my 2 downfalls...would love to make some WW friendly spicy dishes!

                                                                                                      3. I have struggled and tried to follow the WW concept, which I agree makes sense but I'm totally weak, When I do make progress it is probably because I make the effort to include 2 1/2 cups of vegetables in my daily diet. If I have the vegetables on my dinner plate first and then go to what I enjoy, I seem to consume fewer calories. That said, my weakness is definitely cheese, I think the WW cream cheese is great at just one point, but I have recently discovered a vegan version of mexican queso and I love it Not sure what's in it, but there is just 10 calories per ounce, there is a great cheesey, spicey tomato flavor and no cholesterol so it seems worth it to look at vegan options.

                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                          Pegmeister, you're not weak, you're just trying to figure what works for you. Keep at it.

                                                                                                          You are right, though, vegetables are key. I try to have at least one serving of vegetable at each meal, and if I can't have a vegetable, then a fruit. If you can sneak a serving in at breakfast, you definitely have a leg up. If you prefer an eggy-kind of breakfast, then you can always throw a handful of spinach leaves, sliced tomatoes or mushrooms, into your scrambled eggs. And this time of year, pumpkin steel cut oats are awesome. Here's a super easy crock pot version.

                                                                                                          http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe... (if you don't want to use Splenda, just count the points and use a little honey. See if you can get away with less than 1/4 cup).

                                                                                                          Or pumpkin smoothies. Maybe experiment with something like this:

                                                                                                          Or this (skip the whipped cream) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/da...

                                                                                                          If you're having your smoothie for breakfast, sometimes it helps to put a little of your "healthy" fat in there --1/2 tsp or something--(something neutral if you can, flax. sometimes I use walnut and count it as a healthy fat even if WW doesn't, or didn't when I was doing WW a couple of years ago)--it does make it last the morning better.

                                                                                                          Someone on chowhound was talking about being addicted to kale smoothies, which I keep meaning to try (thanks for the reminder). Check this thread out:


                                                                                                          I love my immersion blender for these morning smoothies.

                                                                                                          Oh, and speaking of addictive kale, have you tried kale crisps? We do this with all of our CSA kale that I can't get anyone else in the house to eat... You have to watch the quantity of olive oil and/or exercise portion control...

                                                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... (hmmm..one of the commenters says she sprays the olive oil on. That might be an interesting technique to use less oil...).

                                                                                                          RE: Cheese. I don't know if you've already tried this, but in order to satisfy your cheese craving, maybe use your discretionary points to allow yourself a little bit of really flavorful cheese? Bleu cheese, goat cheese, feta cheese etc. Maybe that could help? If you can't have it in your house without overindulging, then maybe take a French approach and visit your cheesemonger every day and just buy an ounce or two of it, no more.

                                                                                                          Also, I grate my cheeses on a micro grater. It makes a little seem like a lot. :).


                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            DQ thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I had never thought of pumpkin and oats for breakfast but that certainly sounds like something that would work for me. I generally go for an egg based breakfast with spinach or peppers and onions as that seems to be the most satisfying, but I definitely could use more variety.

                                                                                                            1. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                              try making an egg white-based pumpkin custard for breakfast. whisk egg whites, pumpkin puree, fat free evaporated milk, spices, and your preferred sweetener, pour into ramekins or a muffin tin, and bake until set. it's basically healthy pumpkin pie filling for breakfast :)

                                                                                                              or combine the pumpkin, oats and eggs in something like this:

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                I have bookmarked the recipe as it sounds delicious. Will give it a try when I get back from vacation. Heading to Aruba tomorrow and staying at an all inclusive, and frankly I'm a little scared. Hoping that given the heat, I will be more inclined to stick with lighter meals and lots of salads.

                                                                                                                1. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                                  Oh how fun! Don't be scared. You have the skills. The one thing I would worry about on vacation is overindulging on tropical drinks. Those can be such empty calorie bombs! The great thing about vacation is that you'll hopefully have plenty of opportunities to be active. Drink lots of water. Don't deprive yourself, but try not to over indulge. But, your point about wanting to eat on the lighter side in the heat is a excellent one.


                                                                                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                  Oh, those do sound good.

                                                                                                                  It's also pretty easy to stir an egg into your oatmeal. It makes it pretty creamy. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3326...


                                                                                                            2. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                              Does that vegan cheese melt nicely? I can live with a minor taste in cheese if it melts.
                                                                                                              Fresh mozzerella isn't all that bad if you grate it, the stretch of the cheese makes it seem like you get more when you've only used 1 or 2 Tablespoons.

                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                Sorry it took so long to respond I've been in Aruba where Dutch Gouda is everywhere and I gave in and hopefully will now get back on track. The vegan product I purchased is called Nacho Mom's and I guess is relatively new to the market. It is marketed as a vegan queso. I find it to have a more of a tomato and pepper flavor with the cheese being secondary. When I first opened the jar, I thought it had somewhat of a glutonous unappealing texture, but I gave it a shot and found it melted quite nicely and was full of flavor. My favorite use is to put it on top of some oven roasted potatos and I find it to be really satisfying when I'm in the mood for nachos. Now that I'm back from vacation, I'm looking forward to reading all the helpful suggestions here.

                                                                                                            3. Here's my go-to WW meal for lunch or dinner. Fast, filling and only 1-2 points, no matter how big a pot you make, which leaves me lots of points for another meal. Start with 1/2 cup chicken stock in about a cup of water. Bring to boil and add fresh sliced shitakes, baby bok choy, scallions, Chinese broccoli if you can find it, and some cubed soft tofu. Cook about 5 minutes until greens are done and tofu floats to the top.

                                                                                                              While that's cooking, grate some daikon and ginger in a soup bowl, add some soy sauce and mix together. Top with everything you've drained from the hot pot. Stir to combine and enjoy.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. OK, inspired by this thread, I pulled Weight Watchers "Stir-Fry to Szechuan" off the shelf and made Red-Cooked Chicken with Cabbage. Made a couple of substitutions (chicken breast instead of deboned, deskinned chicken legs because that's what I had on hand) and omitted the ham because I didn't have any, but basically it was soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice wine (or sherry) and water simmered about 10 mins to reduce. Then add boneless chicken (and ham) and simmer (covered) for about 25 minutes, to which you add chopped cabbage and diced potatoes and simmer another 10. Remove chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon then boil liquid with corn starch for 1 minute to create a sauce to pour over chicken and vegetables. We really liked this. Dark meat, as the recipe was written would have better.

                                                                                                                So, thank you, girlwonder, for the inspiration. I should really cook from my WW cookbooks more often.


                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                  DQ - maybe it's just me, but I'm just not inspired by most of the recipes in the WW cookbooks (although I must admit, I've never looked at "Stir-Fry to Szechuan"). However, I have found that stir-frying is a great way to control points and eat well, and one non-WW cookbook that's full of delicious, WW-friendly recipes is Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge." When I first got the book, I was entering many of the ingredient lists into WW's Recipe Builder to find the point values of a serving. But after a while I stopped doing that because so many were coming in at 9-12 points per serving that I'm now able to just "eyeball" the recipe and guess pretty accurately.

                                                                                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                    You know, I have found the "single subject" Weight Watchers cookbooks, where they are focusing on a certain cuisine, to be not bad. I mean, they still aren't "authentic" but they are usually interesting. I can usually use it as a foundation for a recipe, then modify it to be a little more authentic. As a rule of thumb, I almost always double the spice, though, because they are almost always too bland. That Grace Young book is already on my "list" of books to buy. Maybe I should accelerate my purchase of it. Thank you for the tip!

                                                                                                                    And, yes, I agree about stir fry being WW friendly. It's a quick and easy way to get in a lot of vegetables into a meal.


                                                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                      Funnily enough, there's this article on the WW site about Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge, including 2 recipes with tips on how to enlighten them: Classic Dry-Fried Pepper and Salt Shrimp and Stir-Fried Ginger Broccoli.


                                                                                                                      A couple others from her, too. http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/ar...

                                                                                                                      Here's a link to a couple of recipes, including Grilled Masala Salmon and Lamb Kebabs with Mint, from Madhur Jaffrey's latest:


                                                                                                                      Here are a couple from Fish Without A Doubt, a former COTM. Steamed Jumbo Shrimp and Linguine with Tuna Sauce. http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/ar...

                                                                                                                      And two (including a chickpea stew) from The Italian Slow Cooker, which I own, but from which I have cooked nothing yet.

                                                                                                                      I don't know why they don't include the points on these (well, yeah, I think I do. These recipes are "public" and they consider their points proprietary and don't like to put points values out there.) They make you figure them yourself.


                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                        I've often wondered why more published recipes don't include the nutritional value of a serving. That would help anyone who's mindful about what they're eating, and of course it would greatly simplify the calculation of WW points. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, but I use the Recipe Builder when I really need to know. I only enter in the ingredients that have point values and I ignore all of those "free" herbs, spices and veggies. Then I make a note of the points value on the recipe, itself.

                                                                                                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                          It's a lot of work to include the nutritional value of recipes. I'm pretty sure that's why they aren't included, except for recipes that are being pitched as "healthful" or conducive to weight loss. I do the same with the WW recipe builder, except I go ahead and put all of the ingredients in while I'm at it, even if they don't have any points. That way, I have ready access to the ingredients list if I want to stop by the grocery store on the way to work or something.


                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                            No it's not; it's just laziness. It takes a few moments to plug it into a site like Sparks Nutrition Calculator to get the stats. I do it all the time. Magazines or other can easily do it too.

                                                                                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                      Me too, I would love to find that cookbook. Some of the cantonese recipes like chicken with celery, or chicken and vegetables, all are lowfat and low calories, using less less oil of course. But then where's my rice? That's the hard part for me....
                                                                                                                      Do you mind paraphrasing the recipe for Red Cooked Chicken? Thank you~
                                                                                                                      And yes I want to thank girlwonder too, I need need NEED to start up again.

                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                        Not at all.

                                                                                                                        Red-Cooked Chicken with Cabbage

                                                                                                                        3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
                                                                                                                        2 tbsp light brown sugar, firmly packed
                                                                                                                        2 tbsp rice wine (or dry sherry)
                                                                                                                        8 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
                                                                                                                        2 tsp sesame oil
                                                                                                                        2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
                                                                                                                        3 c water
                                                                                                                        1 1/2 lbs whole chicken legs (about 3) split, skinned, and boned
                                                                                                                        1/4 c chopped smoked ham
                                                                                                                        4 c napa or savoy cabbage, cut into 1'' chunks
                                                                                                                        2 small potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2''
                                                                                                                        1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp water

                                                                                                                        In a large saucepan bring first 7 ingredients (soy sauce to water) to a boil, then simmer (uncovered) for 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                        Add meat, then bring to a boil again.

                                                                                                                        Cover and simmer 25 mins, until chicken is nearly cooked through.

                                                                                                                        Add vegetables and simmer about 10 mins. Cabbage should be tender and chicken, cooked thru.

                                                                                                                        Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Bring liquid to a boil, stir in cornstarch/water mixture. Keep stirring until sauce is thickened, about 1 minutes. Serve with sauce spooned over meat and vegetables.

                                                                                                                        Serves 4

                                                                                                                        293 calories
                                                                                                                        7 g fat
                                                                                                                        2 g fiber
                                                                                                                        28 g protein

                                                                                                                        I tried this Whole Wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts, and Ricotta Salata (or Feta) from Chez Panisse Vegetables via Smitten Kitchen tonight. Not bad. I used 6 tsp of olive oil and only one head of cauliflower (honestly, I don't know how you'd get 2 heads of florets to fit in the pan unless you were using a wok). http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/03/pas...


                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                          thank you so much! How do you keep yourself from eating the whole thing or at least half by yourself? This recipe looks wonderful. Many of my older red cooked whatever dishes actually incorped a bit of red food coloring. Love that sherry flavor, must try this next week. I'm trying the starvation diet until after Thursday...; )

                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                            You know, it was filling because it was pretty "saucy", but I kinda wished I'd added more cabbage. It seems like there was room for it. And how I keep myself from eating more of something is that I portion it out immediately into my storage containers (at the same time I'm serving it, basically). I let them cool while we eat and clean up and then I put the lids on and they go straight into the fridge. My husband thought this tasted better on Day 2, so, maybe you can motivate yourself with that. :).


                                                                                                                    3. cooking nothing :( i've lost 15lbs so far but plateauing at the same weight now for 3 months probably due to breast feeding which we've been trying to quit but its been really hard for my little guy. we're going out to eat. we're going to eat lobster and crabs. fish and chips for the toddler.

                                                                                                                      1. Its unusually cold here! So we had a big curry laksa soup for dinner. The soup consists of a prepared paste mix (sorry 'bout that), 1/2 can of light coconut milk, chicken broth, extra ginger, garlic, fish sauce and lime juice. A few noodles me, more for the rest. Then a bunch of shrimp, bean sprouts, broccolini etc. The soup has more calories than most, but the add-ins are mostly free (and the kids don't like the actual broth, so its shrimp and noodles for them).

                                                                                                                        1. So, my copy of Alice Medrich new book "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunch Melt in Your Mouth Cookies" just arrived. I was thrilled to find that she list 2 dozen cookies in the back that are two points or fewer (for 2-3 cookies in most cases). True, most of them are meringues and biscotti, but one is a brownie and another is a lemon bar. They all look fabulous. All "real" ingredients. I can't wait to try them. Of course, they may not be 2 points under the new program, but, still, they have to be lighter than most cookies. Here are a couple of recipes.

                                                                                                                          Ginger cookies http://www.scribd.com/doc/41758996/Gi...
                                                                                                                          Chunky Peanut Butter Clouds (scroll down to sept 30) http://alicemedrich.blogspot.com/


                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                            So, I have to make a correction to the above. The Chunky Peanut Butter Clouds are not the 2 points ones. It's just the plain PB clouds that are. For the plain PB clouds, omit the toasted and skinned hazelnuts or toasted almonds and the chopped milk chocolate.


                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              So, I just checked these 2 Medrich recipes under the new plan and they are still very low in points, esp the PB Clouds, which is not surprising for a Meringue cookie...


                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                i realized this afternoon i'm going to have to recalculate all my recipes! eek!

                                                                                                                                1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                  Sadly, yes, you are. That is, unless you have been using WW's online "recipe builder" and have been inputting your recipes into "recipe builder" on an ingredient by ingredient basis. If recipe builder knows the ingredients and the quantities thereof, it will recalc the points for you on each of your recipes. If you have just been calc'ing your points based on calories/fat/fiber, then, yes, you will have to do the recalc yourself.

                                                                                                                                  WW seems to have taken this as an opportunity to delete some items from its ingredients database, so, even if you have been using recipe builder, it will prompt you to tell it what "replacement" ingredient you want to use instead of one they might have deleted.

                                                                                                                                  Many of my recipes have gone up in points. None that I've noticed have gone down in points.


                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                    yeah, I think I'm going to start paying for online e-tools, now that i'm lifetime, just so i can use the recipe builder.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                      Not happy about the deleted ingredients. One of the things I like(d?) about eTools is how many foods they have in there. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                        the site isn't recalculating my saved favorites. i clicked on an item with the "!" and it booted me off the page. tried a few different times, with different items. I don't understand the new plan yet at all, so i think i'll go to a meeting tomorrow. been too long anyway.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                          I think a lot of people were having problems with the site yesterday because of the huge volume. I got booted off once or twice, too.

                                                                                                                                          I recalculated all of my saved "recipe builder" recipes (but I didn't have that many) without a problem, but I was lucky enough to be able to do it very early in the day. Hopefully, things will go more smoothly once the site is back at more normal usage volumes. But, if you're confused about the plan, it does make sense to go to a meeting.

                                                                                                                                          Plus, maybe you'll get some good recipes! There are a couple of recipe pdfs out there. Did you see those?


                                                                                                                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                          I've been using the online recipe builder for several years and I got a HUGE list of recipe ingredients that must now be recalculated. A project for a rainy day, with nothing else to do!

                                                                                                                                2. Good morning! I'm making a few ww recipes for dinner tomorrow, they're all new to me so I can't say yet if they're good! lol.
                                                                                                                                  Stuffing with sage and chives (from the WW site)
                                                                                                                                  green beans with caramelized shallots (also from ww site) unfortunately without the gremolata b/c my MIL doesn't "DO" garlic... sigh
                                                                                                                                  hungry girl's pumpkin pudding caramel cupcakes
                                                                                                                                  I cook my potatos in chicken broth and rosemary, then use the cooking liquid and some lite sour cream when I mash them.
                                                                                                                                  I've been on a roasted butternut kick - olive oil, salt, pepper, onions and garlic - but I don't think anyone else will eat it tomorrow so I'll cook it sunday to have with my leftovers!

                                                                                                                                  Fortunately I don't have any overnight guests, so don't have to worry too much about breakfast. :)

                                                                                                                                  I've been doing ww for 3 years, lost 97lbs!
                                                                                                                                  I highly recommend the WW Comfort Classics cookbook. We've loved all the recipes we tried from it so far.

                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                    WOW! You have had some excellent results. I will be on the lookout for that Comfort Classics. Great tip, thank you!


                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                      I think you can find it on ebay, i haven't seen it at the meetings in a while.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                        Maybe a lot of people will dump it when the new plan rolls out so they don't have to refigure the points and I can pick up a cheap used copy. You never know! The cheapest used version on Amazon right now is $9 (plus shipping).


                                                                                                                                    2. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                      wow is right, you're an inspiration to go back to the WW books! congratulations!!

                                                                                                                                    3. i posted this on the WFD thread, but I'll re-post it here. last night the BF found WW recipe for baked onion rings, and a skinnytaste.com recipe for turkey croquettes. The croquettes were a tad dry, but still tasty. the rings were great. i ate them with some sriracha, points free. served along with a salad of roasted green bell peppers, capers, and shallots, and a cup of his most DELICIOUS SOUP YET, which i think is very comparable to the WW 0 point veggie soup - food processed brussel sprouts leftover from thxgiving, onion, garlic, beef broth, sage, oregano, fresh thyme, diced green bell peppers, s&p. parsley and green onions on top. He did use about a tbl. of oil to saute the veggies, but that was for a big pot of soup. Dessert was clementines he supremed with his own little hands, patiently peeling and pithing each little section at a time, with raspberries. Tonight's dinner will be a lo-cal "asian glazed" chicken legs recipe i found on the skinnytaste.com website with white rice, steamed broccoli, and a cabbage salad.

                                                                                                                                      1. I agree with all of your ideas about WW...I love bread and cheese and butter and cream and pastry, and...and it is a pain to keep track of points when eating "real" food, not relying on the prepared foods. And I also hate exercise. Having said that, I did join WW on 11/4, and am really trying hard to make it work, without relying on the prepared meals, which I am just completely opposed to. What is working for me, is a lot of planning and a lot of repetition of things I like. I have been having 1/2 cup of steel cut oats with 1/2 cup fresh berries ( or occasionally raisins, craisins or a banana, and once I had pumpkin) and 1/2 cup almond milk. The whole breakfast is 2 points, and it is really filling. I make the oats about once or twice a week (depending on whether or not anyone helps me eat them:) and store in a covered container in the fridge and microwave as I need them. I often take this breakfast to work if I am working at breakfast time. Lunch is usually home made soup ( in the last month, I have made the WW 0 point soup twice, as well as black bean soup (3 or 4 points, depending on "fixins" and portion size), butternut squash soup- 0 points, and this week my husband made turkey soup, which as near as I can figure probably has about 3 points per cup. With the soup, I will have a salad. I like the spray dressings, which are also zero points. And some fruit. Sometimes popcorn for a snack in the afternoon, but usually not. I have pretty much stopped eating between meals, and don't really miss it. Supper is always home made. My daughter ( who is also on the WW program and has lost 35 lbs since June) and I plan meals together for the week, and take turns cooking, based on whose schedule permits the time to cook for that night. We have really enjoyed some of Gina's skinny kitchen recipes, most notable the chicken enchiladas, which are really low in points and delicious. . We are also using a some of the WW recipes in "5 or Less". The baked rigatoni with three cheeses from that book we liked a lot, but changed it up, adding a bed of spinach under the rigatoni and roasted red peppers (both 0 points) and switched fat free feta for bleu cheese or gorgonzola or whatever the original recipe called for. I am trying to build a rotation of stuff we like, once we have tried the recipe and gotten it the way we like it. I've been doing (semi) home made pizza on Friday nights...store bought whole wheat pizza dough, tomato sauce, 2% cheese mixed with ff mozzarella on one and adding roasted red peppers, onion, black olives to the other. I think between 3- 4 points per slice. So...basically, I like repetition for breakfast and lunch and variety for supper. and I always try to save 2-4 points at the end of the day for a cocktail or 2. I also love dessert, and one of the best I've found is 5-point (but worth it!) chocolate creme brulee' , which I got from the WW site. Another awesome snack...4 points for I think 24 almonds in Blue Diamond's dark chocolate almonds. Love this thread and all the great ideas!

                                                                                                                                        1. My BF made this tonight, from www.skinnytaste.com:

                                                                                                                                          Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers
                                                                                                                                          Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
                                                                                                                                          Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 2 halves • Points: 6 pts
                                                                                                                                          Calories: 303.7 • Fat: 5.9 g • Protein: 29.9 g • Carb: 34.9 g • Fiber: 6.5 g

                                                                                                                                          They hadn't been converted yet to the new Points Plus formula, but her newest recipe on the site shows that she is now using the new calculations. I did the calc. online and two stuffed peppers are 7 pts.

                                                                                                                                          This dish was great, really light and healthy tasting but also homey and even hearty. We had our version of WW points-free soup (ours features shredded brussel sprouts) on the side and I am nicely sated without being stuffed.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. Joined WW recently and would love to revive this thread!

                                                                                                                                            The other night I made a recipe from Cooking Light for tilapia with Thai coconut-curry sauce (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...), which was very very tasty and about 6 P+. Used the extra sauce (recipe makes a lot) over chicken the next day.

                                                                                                                                            Tonight I am not going to be home till nearly 8PM (gym class at 6:30), so planning on Trader Joe's marinated mahi mahi, quinoa, roasted asparagus.

                                                                                                                                            1. Last night I made the chicken with balsamic vinegar that is on the WW site. I used a whole chicken cut up instead of the chicken tenders specified in the recipe. I think it would be better with the chicken tenders. I felt it was a little bland, and because I made it ahead, the breast pieces got a little dried out. Today I went to costco and got some very good turkey breast that is only 1 pt per 3 pieces, so I made a whole wheat pita sandwich for lunch with six generous slices, sliced tomato and jalapenos. It was only 5 pts, and very satisfying. I also picked up something at Costco called Garden Lites zucchini souffles, and they are surprisingly delicious at only 1 point each!

                                                                                                                                              1. I am a huge fan of the Senegalese Peanut Stew with Spinach and Sweet Potatoes featured on this page:


                                                                                                                                                I found the 6 Tbsp of peanut butter a bit rich and prefer to use 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup).

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: poundcake

                                                                                                                                                  I love that recipe! I've started to omit the spinach because it just gets gray and have added serrano peppers. The soup is best the day after - the leftovers are amazing.

                                                                                                                                                2. recently heard about skinnytaste.com.
                                                                                                                                                  I made her pasta fagioli soup, which was extremely tasty! I'll be trying other of her recipes soon. :)

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                    my husband LOVES her tuna noodle cassarolle and I must admit, I'm fond of it too. We've adapted it to our two-person family by using one can of tuna but adding broccoli. It's very tasty. Do not use the brand of pasta she recommends, though - it turned in to mush. We use barilla plus or whole grain, whatever we have on hand, and it works great.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jeserf

                                                                                                                                                      I've been meaning to try this recipe, and with the barilla plus pasta.
                                                                                                                                                      I use tuna in oil, well drained, and thought I could use one can and up the veggies to keep the points down.
                                                                                                                                                      It's hard to go back to water-packed tuna after years of delicous oil-packed. That's what my hips tell me, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jeserf

                                                                                                                                                        we haven't tried the tuna casserole yet, I'll have to check it out. I like the barilla plus pasta, too.

                                                                                                                                                        have you tried her oven fried chicken? we LOVE it, just watch the amount of salt you add. I used 1 cup bread crumbs - have an allergy to something in breakfast cereal - and the 3 tsp of kosher salt was a little too much for us. other than that, the seasonings are great, the chicken comes out moist!

                                                                                                                                                    2. There are some great ideas here....I've been following the Weight Watcher's program since early November and am happy with the results, so far. Would love to revive this thread, as I can always use some additional inspiration for good Weight Watcher friendly meals. What I like about the points plus system is that it emphasizes a lot more whole foods and seems more conducive to actual cooking than WW used to. I had joined once in the past, and while the results were good then as well, there seemed to be much more emphasis on eating packaged meals than the current plan. Yay! So....a typical day for me is breakfast, which I sometimes pack and bring to work with me (have a fridge and microwave at work) ...1/2 cup of steel cut oatmeal, with lately an apple, but some fruit...I've done berries or banana, pumpkin, raisins, craisins, and a smoothie made with 1 cup of almond milk, a banana and about 1/2-3/4 cup frozen mixed berries. Coffee with fat free half and half and truvia. Lunch is often soup (homemade, usually...I've been making 2 kinds of WW friendly soup a week..this week is hot and sour soup (2 points) and tortilla soup (0 points), salad, fruit and fat free yogurt. I usually have a late afternoon snack of Laughing cow lite cheese on 3 wasa bread crackers, or mini rice cakes, or popcorn, but sometimes just coffee. Then I have dinner, usually around 6pm, which could be a wide variety of things. Usually salad and a cooked vegetable, some kind of protein and a small amount of starch. Tonight was hot and sour soup, 2 pot stickers, with dipping sauce (made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, chopped fresh ginger and scallions) Chinese chicken salad (4 points) and a glass of plum wine. I do a lot of cooking ahead on weekends for the week ahead, and also sometimes take leftovers to work, if I am working at supper time. Would love to hear ideas for healthy home cooked WW friendly meals!

                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                        Well, for the month of January, I've been both following WW and participating in the COTM, which are Grace Young's the Breath of a Wok and Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge and have found them pretty WW-friendly, as long as I only do one stir-fry dish per meal and serve it with brown rice.

                                                                                                                                                        I notice on the WW website they have revived a Grace Young interview in preparation for Chinese New Year.

                                                                                                                                                        It will be interesting to see how well the February COTM, Hesser's Essential New York Times Cookbook fits plan. I've bookmarked a dozen or so recipes so far.

                                                                                                                                                        I wonder if girlwonder enjoyed her trip to Maui?


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                          Whoops. Here's a link to the actual Grace Young interview on Chinese New Year. http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/ar...

                                                                                                                                                          I've tried the steam salmon recipe and it's pretty good. Super easy. The stir-fried lettuce recipe has been a hit in the COTM threads, though I personally haven't tried it.


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                            I'm on the waiting list at our library for ENYTC. I'm hoping to have it in time to participate some in the COTM. Asian food (done lightly) can be really WW friendly.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                              Oh, fun. I hope you can join in. There are a lot of recipes online, too, that you can tinker with until your copy of the book arrives. You can see the listing of recipes (and a listing of ingredients) on Eat Your Books (even if you're not a member) and, I'll bet you can do a Google search on any recipes that sound interesting to you. If you don't have any luck, you could always ask someone to summarize the recipe for you.


                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                          I made a great chunky chicken soup last night from Hungry Girl's tv program. I know, I know. she does use a lot of pre-packaged food, but in amongst those "assembly" recipes are some gems!!
                                                                                                                                                          This soup has chicken, veggies, cannelini beans, stewed tomatos and chicken broth. YUM - and only 3pp per cup. Her version is a crock pot recipe - I made it on the stove because it worked better with yesterday's schedule.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                            i make a ww hot and sour which is delicious. it went up to 3 points, though. can i get the recipe for yours? also, the tortilla soup....i didn't know there were still any zero point soups out there. can you share that recipe, too?

                                                                                                                                                            3 pounds from goal. 39 lbs lost since august (while maintaining over christmas). i love points plus!!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                                                                              Congrats! You are really cranking along!

                                                                                                                                                              Speaking of soups, this isn't a zero pointer, bu.t I really enjoyed this Chicken and Green Chile Stew from Molly O'Neill's "One Big Table, " as modified and it's very points friendly if you mind the oil. (I provide a link to O'Neill's website where the recipe is one of the pages available when you "look inside.") I thought it was only pretty good the evening I made it, but I thought it was crave-worthy/fantastic the next day. A definite keeper.



                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                                                                                Sorry, it's been a while since I checked in on this thread. Here are the recipes for :
                                                                                                                                                                Hot and Sour soup
                                                                                                                                                                4 cups fat free chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons rice vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                2 teaspoons asian hot sauce, or chili paste, to taste
                                                                                                                                                                2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
                                                                                                                                                                1/3 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
                                                                                                                                                                9 ounces firm tofu, diced (about 1 cup)
                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon corn starch, mixed with 2 teaspoons water
                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon soy sauce
                                                                                                                                                                2 medium scallions, sliced
                                                                                                                                                                In a soup pot, stir together broth, vinegar, hot sauce, soy suce, mushroom, bamboo shoots and tofu. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch, and simmer 2 minutes more. Serve, sprinkling each bowl with sliced scallions. Yields about 1 cup per serving. 2 points plus.

                                                                                                                                                                0 Point tortilla soup

                                                                                                                                                                1 cup onions, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                2 garlic cloves,. chopped
                                                                                                                                                                3 green onions, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                2 (12 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                4 cups fat free chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                1/3 cup salsa
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 red pepper, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 green pepper, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                3-4 celery ribs, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                1/3 cup fresh cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 teaspoon chili powder
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 teaspoon cumin
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 teaspoon basil
                                                                                                                                                                4 tablespoons fat free sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                4 tablespoons flour, rt thicken ( I didn't use this)
                                                                                                                                                                simmer onions, garlic and green onions in a pan until tender. Put all ingredients in a pot, simmer until veggies are tender. You can add chicken, divide the points by 9 servings.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                  Tortilla soup? Where's the tortillas?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sparkareno

                                                                                                                                                                    Good question There aren't any tortillas in the recipe, but you could add some (and add the points as well) I've had some success with spraying a baking sheet and baking strips of fat free tortillas and adding them to salads; I bet they would be good in this soup too

                                                                                                                                                            2. Finally checking in to this thread after being away from both WW and chowhound for way too long. I dropped off the WW bandwagon when we were in Maui over Christmas for 2 weeks, and haven't hopped back on. On the bright side, I haven't gained any, and I've been eating way too much, but the fact that I'm finally sticking with a jogging plan is helping there, I think.

                                                                                                                                                              Still addicted to Laughing Cow cheese, usually with Wasa. Have been making a ton of soups lately: two favorites were Ellie Krieger's Nutty Sweet Potato Soup, and a vegetarian tortilla soup. I also am in love with the very rich tasting Trader Joe's Creamy Tomato and the TJ's Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soups-in the shelf stable cartons. Only 100 calories a cup, really delicious, makes a nice lunch with the chipotle Laughing Cow and the Wasa.

                                                                                                                                                              Also loved an epicurious recipe we made last week, for white beans with sage and olive oil. Added a tablespoon or so of Dijon and extra garlic...very nice and filling.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Congratulations to all of you! I have just read most of this thread and thank you all for your inspiration - now if it can only last once I move away from this computer. I plan to get to the gym (just to register today) and then do a good initial food shopping of good fruits and veggies and find a good recipe to make for DH and my first dinner tonight in this new mode. Keep up all your great work - and keep sharing here - YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE HELPING SO MANY OTHERS!

                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                  ok - found a recipe - pulled out 96/4 chopped meat from the freezer - onion, garlic, beef stock, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, basil and WW macaroni - topping with FF sourcream, FFcheddar. Salad on the side. gaining momentum.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm also glad I came back to this thread as it can really be motivating. It's been a few months since I have posted and made a contribution so I'll say that one thing I've been eating more of these days, is the kabocha squash. I drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle with nutmeg and ginger and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. It's really satisfying and low in calories. I'm also down 9 pounds in the last few months so I'm feeling back on track.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                                                                                      funny - I read your entry from a few months back earlier this morning - and had wondered where in Aruba you went - sorry I know it's OT - we went to Divi and will be returning this year - we go with our family of 15.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                        Love the Divi, heading back again in March. I know this is OT, but check out the new Carte Blanche restaurant in the high rise area. Trying to stick to WW until then! Any munchie type suggestions are truly welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                                                                                          Pop chips. They are reallly light potato chips, I think 22 chips are only 2 or 3 points plus. They are available in Salt and Vinegar, Barbecue and Plain, and both of the flavors are amazing..I don't normally even like regular barbecue chips, but these taste like a really wonderful barbecue sauce, very smoky and great! They are in one of our local grocery stores (Hannaford) in the Natural foods section, next to Pirate Booty. I have bought three bags of the Barbecue flavor, having tried one at work, and have yet to be able to have any....husband and kids keep eating them!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm now down 11 pounds and chips are an absolute downfall for me so I'll have to check out those chips from the local Hannafords.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pegmeister

                                                                                                                                                                              They are my favorite! I love having them on half a sandwich - feels like cheating!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                Also check out the new Special K chip crackers (round ones). I'm not sure about points, but a ton of chips for the calories. Perhaps someone knows.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. There i s a slow cooker Chicken Cacciatore recipe that is on the WW website. It is REALLY good. I used fresh mushrooms, tomatoes with green chiles, fresh garlic, lots of onions, red peppers, and artichoke hearts. SO good and SO easy!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Day four of WW, I am loving it so far. Unbelievably, I am not agonizing over what I can't have. I hope the love lasts.
                                                                                                                                                                      Last night I really enjoyed a quick fish dish of roasted asparagus and tomatoes with rock cod and olive tapenade. It took 30 min in a 400F oven and was totally satisfying with some bulgur at the bottom of my bowl (1/2c).
                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight I am thinking about mussels. I spent a bit of time last night looking up various grains, fish and meats, and saw mussels and clams are particularly point friendly.
                                                                                                                                                                      I am thinking of steaming them with a little light coconut milk, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir leaves and red curry paste (a smidge) and then having them over Tamaki Koshihikari rice.
                                                                                                                                                                      I found the rice in Japan Town yesterday. It's a short grain rice with the rice germ still on the kernel, and when I plugged it into WW, it gave me 4 pts for 1/4 c dry. I would only eat half of the cooked rice, so I'm hoping 2 pts is a fair estimate for this product.
                                                                                                                                                                      I am calculating correctly? Any advice you guys can give me as far as trying to calculate foods not in their data base is much appreciated.
                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not going to kid myself that this rice is something I should have all the time, there are better grains out there. I happened to have it one time with a friends Japanese curry and it was delicious, so I seeked it out. Seems better for you than the average pearl rice I miss so much.
                                                                                                                                                                      I love this thread and made many notes of all your great tips. Thank you!
                                                                                                                                                                      Now if only I could find a bathroom scale that gives an honest reading. I've bought two and they both give different weights each time I step on, off and then back on to them. Anyone have a great scale they can recommend? Totally off-topic here, I know.

                                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                        Congrats on your WW resolve! BTW, I've been at goal for over 4 years, and I still attend meetings regularly. Love trying new recipes (have found many WW recipes are a little bland, though). About the scale: I'd advise to steer clear of the ones made by Conant for WW (available at regular retail stores). My weight can vary by crazy amounts depending on exactly which bathroom tiles I set the danged thing on!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                          I had the same problem! Now I'm just going to try to set it in one place. At least my clothes should let me know if I'm making good progress!
                                                                                                                                                                          I haven't used any of the Weekly Remaining Points Plus. I'm scared of them, to be honest. I'm sure I'll be happy to use them when I have dinner out or a day with my girlfriends, but I feel like I shouldn't use them otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                            Use them. They keep you from feeling deprived. I am 5 lbs away from my goal (85 lbs!) and I got there in under 2 years using pretty much all my weekly points, every week (and most of what I earned from exercise, too). I would say it is rare that a week goes by that I don't eat something a bit indulgent, but I fit it all in to the points allowance and it works.

                                                                                                                                                                            I know some people do feel better not using those weekly points, but that's what's worked for me.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                          glad youre having a good time. i'm having the opposite problem. week 4 and only a 2lb loss.i'm lifetime but struggling to get back down after having my baby.

                                                                                                                                                                          to keep OT i'm having a good time with the vegetable soup formerly known as the zero point soup. i got kale at the farmers market and included in the soup. i also started to make it in the slow cooker which helps lessen the resentment i had for it. i had the same issue with the scale. our first one was off by about 5lbs. that was way too much. i got a crappy ww scale from target and it's still off. i posted a question on the ww board and everyone recommends the tanita scale.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                            The first one I bought (off Amazon) was made by Soehnle, it's really attractive, which made me ignore the two comments that mentioned it was unreliable.
                                                                                                                                                                            Last night I went to BB&B and picked up a Homedic model.
                                                                                                                                                                            It seemed to be giving me lots of different numbers as well, but I called their customer service today and was told the only way to get an accurate reading is to get on intially, on level-ground, just one time. If I wanted to weigh myself again, I would have to wait 15 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                            Umm, ok. Maybe I should just get an old-fashioned one, with the waving hand.
                                                                                                                                                                            I did test it, weighing myself three times, at 15 min intervals (yes, I'm a little obsessed at this point), and it seems to be accurate.
                                                                                                                                                                            The Soehnle model still varied by up to a pound at a time.
                                                                                                                                                                            I really just want to track my loss, I don't care if it's off by a pound or so, just give me accurate changes, both plus and minus!
                                                                                                                                                                            I should try the WW boards I suppose, but I don't "know" anyone over there yet. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                            Now I am leaning towards skinny taste's recipe for curried shrimp with cilantro for dinner. I have all of the ingredients and it looks very satisfying. With a big old bowl of steamed veg, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                            Please keep replies about food, not scales - thank you

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                              Your ideas sound wonderful! I wish I could do some more "exotic" stuff.....but my daughter (who is also following the plan) only eats chicken, beef and turkey. No pork, no fish or shellfish. Your points estimation sounds right for the rice. I get irritated when WW or the package information refers to things like 1/4 cup dry rice..or unpopped pocorn, or uncooked oatmeal...nobody eats unpopped popcorn, so who cares how many point it has? It would be nice to have the information for the prepared food! Keep up the good work and dedication. It is worth it!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you! I've really appreciated every one of your posts Sunflwsdh!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                  I actually have the opposite problem -- I want to know the points value of things before I cook them so that I only cook the amount I want. If I'm popping popcorn, I want to know how much unpopped popcorn to put in the pan so that I won't have to re-measure after it's popped and/or have some left over. Although I guess one really needs to know the points value both ways, since you're not always starting from kernels...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you using eTools? I find it indispensable for finding points values of a very large variety of items without having to calculate everything on a calculator.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: stomachofsteel

                                                                                                                                                                                    I can see why some people would want the nutrition info both ways, I guess, sometimes it just seems confusing to me though! (Not much of a math or a tech person!) I am not using e-tools, but my daughter is and will get any info I for me that I need. She has calculated points for a lot of non-WW weight watcher recipes for me that I have lightened up

                                                                                                                                                                              2. tonight the BF made something out of a garage sale book we picked up Low Fat something or other, which i though was good because it listed out the nutritional info after each recipe - BUT it does not list the fiber count! so.... we'll have to take that into consideration when making those recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                anyway, from that book he made a sausage and potato pie, with sage and apple juice and a little cheese melted on top of the potatoes...... it was more liquidy than pie-y, but it was delicious. it came in at 11 pts., (we calculated it as 0 fiber, to be safe) which with a 29 pt. allowance isn't horrible, but i'd rather come in at 9 or so...... eh, just quibbling.

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                  i hit goal on 2/15....lost 42 lbs. on points plus 1 point equals roughly 40 calories. so in a pinch, you can divide the number of calories by 40 and round up.....

                                                                                                                                                                                  you can also calculate the fiber if you have the other info...but that's a huge pain.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                                                                                                    oh yeah i forgot about that.
                                                                                                                                                                                    congratulations!!! you're on maintenance now! i've never hit maintenance. very impressive. very inspiring!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. This week, I am cooking (or in some cases, already have cooked)
                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow: Lightened up lasagna....basically it is just the recipe on the back of the whole wheat lasagna box, and I use extremely lean ground beef, my husband's home made extremely lean Italian sausage (he grinds our meats with the grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid, and trims the fat down so it's probably 97 or 98% fat free) and fat free ricotta and mozzarella, as well as some 2% shredded mixed Italian cheese (pizza blend or something like that) It works out to I think 8 or 9 points plus per serving, but it is really delicious! And we are going to the King Arthur Flour store tomorrow for the day, with friends who will then join us for dinner, and I already had this lasagna in the freezer, so it will be perfect with one of my husband's home made baguettes and a big green salad. For dessert, I made " Individual Berry Tiramisu"......it's chilling now. I don't know the points yet, but will figure it out and post after I do. This is an as yet untried (till tonight )recipe, so I'll review it after we eat them.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Sunday, I'll be working 10 hours, so my sweet husband has agreed to roast a chicken or two and a butternut squash or two as well. Monday is another work day for me, so I will be having leftover roast chicken, as will the few family members who eat at home on Mondays, which are a busy night for us. Tuesday is another long work day for me, and I am throwing together macaroni and cheese with roasted butternut squash for the family. I will take leftovers or soup and sandwich to work. Wednesday , I'll be working through dinnertime again, and will put together an Impossible Chicken pot pie for the family. Thursday I will be off, and when I planned this week's menu, hadn't realized that Thursday is St. Patrick's Day. I will probably do corned beef and cabbage;this week's Weekly WW hand out has a recipe for it which is only 9 points. Friday will be home made pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the ww corned beef recipe heads up! I was talking to my Dad tonight, and mentioned having started ww this week, etc. , and he was very concerned wether I'd still get to enjoy this particular dish next week. Ha! Guess I can!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Well, I have a new favorite WW website, Slenderkitchen.com. There are wonderful recipes on here complete with PointsPlus values! I made the Spinach Wontons (Skinny Spanakopita) last night and they are being lapped up at work. They are wonton skins filled with a mixture of Spinach, Onions, Garlic, Feta and spices. SO good and you can have 3 of them for 2 pointsplus values. They only have 87 calories for the three! SO yummy! There is another recipe for these same wonton wrappers filled with nutella and banana. I will try them later this week and let you know. ENJOY!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't follow WW, but I like it too!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                          i haven't tried slenderkitchen, I just found skinnytaste. I made her oven fried chicken last night, which was delicious.
                                                                                                                                                                                          off to look at slenderkitchen! thx for the tip. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the Slenderkitchen heads up I will check it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                                                                                                                              hey yeah, thanks for turning us on to this! will check slender kitchen out.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Went back to my first meeting since December (i just weigh in, can't stay for the meetings, but i find the discipline of someone weighing me every week very motivating). Rabaja - i'm partially crediting you for inspiration!

                                                                                                                                                                                              I had leftover pizza tonight, but it worked into my plan, so i am feeling good. Salad too.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Lunch was a whole wheat couscous dish i made with dried cherries, pine nuts, green onions and cilantro. I used half the butter the recipe called for, and just added a drizzle of good olive oil at the end. That'll be part of lunch for a few days, and I figured it to be about 3 pts for 1/2 cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Now to get back to the gym...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, Maria, that couscous sounds great! Good for you for going back to meetings! I completely agree, the getting weighed in by somebody else makes me more accountable, too My Weight Watchers meetings are "at work" meetings, a group of 11 of us who work in the same office meet weekly on our lunch hour The leader comes into our office and brings the scale, etc. It works really well for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                I had the extremely pleasant surprise of coming home to really great husband made chicken vegetable soup in the slow cooker tonight, which made the whole packing my lunch task that much easier! I still had some leftover lasagna, which I had for supper tonight, along with a tossed salad.. When I got home (around 9:30) I had an apple sliced with some reduced fat peanut butter, and a cup of Sleepy Time tea. Tomorrow's lunch will be the chicken vegetable soup, a slice of my husband's wonderful home made bread ( he very considerately didn't put any starch in the soup, so that we would be able to have the bread with it...what a guy!) salad, a banana, and fat free yogurt. Supper will be a piece of the lasagna, salad and fruit. What else I am finding works well for me is to try to eat something about every two to two and a half hours. So what I call lunch, i actually split up through the day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                I hear you about the gym. I don't currently go to a gym, I have in the past, but exercise is not something I naturally love to do. In fact, I have been procrastinating even during this weight loss effort, which I started in November, and saying....I have got to start exercising. Finally, last week, after several false starts, I found a 20 minute Walk and Tone video on the Fit on Demand channel, that I have been doing faithfully (except for Sunday) all week. While I am still not a huge exercise fan, I do like the way I feel after I have done the workout, and I'm sure it will pay off in the long run. Starting tomorrow, I plan to do it in the morning and evening. Our WW group leader has told us we should be earning a minimum of 4 activity points per day...and I am now at 2 per day. Good luck with getting to the gym!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey thanks! And yes, it is great when you have a S.O. helping in your efforts. Mine cooked WW meals for me - weighed them and measured things and everything when i lost 24 lbs. the first time. (i've gained 9 of those back, so I'm looking to get rid of those and lose another 11.) He's helping me this time too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was going to the gym 3-4 days a week for the past 2 years or so (up until about November) and i never used to be a person who liked exercise. but i kept doing it and pretty soon it became something i needed and enjoyed. i'm out of the habit but i know i'll get back to it - because it makes SUCH a difference with the WW. Each of my work-outs were worth 6+ pts. but i never figured out how to take them off the total - i think you can only take off the earned exercise pts. if you go over all your pts. for the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  good luck to us all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you are using eTools, I think you can change that setting -- whether you want to use exercise points before weekly points or the other way around. It's under preferences or settings or something like that...I stumbled upon it looking for something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 activity points per day?? Never going to happen here...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: stomachofsteel

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It hasn't happened here yet either. I really, really have to figure out how to fit that second workout into my day. I was planning to start yesterday, but worked 10 and 12-hour days this week, and was just too beat when I got home. Starting tomorrow, I have 4 days off (YAY!) and am hoping to get into the after dinner workout routine, in addition to first thing in the AM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't know how to do it in e-tools, either, but apparently it is possible:) Our group leader told us you should NOT be eating the activity points daily unless you are earning more than 4, and then you should. So on the days you do your 6 point workout, you should eat an additional 2 points. Or drink an additional sip of wine:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That doesn't make sense to me. Why be able to "earn" points if you're not supposed to use them? I've always been encouraged by leaders to eat as many as my earned activity points as I want -- just not before I earn them. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: stomachofsteel

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know, I feel the same way, but I'm not eating my activity points, just in case she's right:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                              So i was able to make the change just like stomachofsteel said, but it still seems like you have to wait until you go over - daily points? - to be able to swap them out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, it says weekly points! i don't get it....

                                                                                                                                                                                                              eta: it definitely isn't daily points - i went WAY over last night (HAD to - ate at a friend's new restaurant - all mac-n-cheese! and i chose the BACON & EGG MAC-N-CHEESE, which was HEAVEN!) It was totally worth it, but no, unless you have to physically do something to swap out your activitiy points, they're still there, but i still have points left for the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              and that doesn't count the extra 35 they give you for the week! so.... you have to go reall over to make your activity points work, but i guess that's the point. if you work out, you can really splurge occasionally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting. Thanks for reporting back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think you're leader is wrong. ask her to show you where in the materials it says that....i eat every point i have coming to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                made corned beef and cabbage last night. i was going to use the ww recipe. but i realized it was the same recipe i use anyway. it's just portion control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh Mariacarmen, you are so sweet!
                                                                                                                                                                                                        You have absolutely inspired me during this new lifestyle change, and it wouldn't be nearly as much fun if I couldn't share/discuss/commiserate with you all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                          so true! this really helps me too.....my issue with WW in the past has been that I have missed cooking real food. This time ( and I think the Points Plus stuff encourages it) seems a lot better, lots more options and ideas for good real food instead of lots of stuff made with cool whip, etc:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The only reason I went on WW is because I could cook real food and was not cutting out any food groups. Just eating less of them

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree, now that the points plus is in place. I also like not cutting out any food groups! Tonight I made pasta carbonara for supper. It was a "regular" recipe, but didn't look too bad. When I figured out the points per serving (after I made it, but before I had eaten any) it was 16 points per serving!!!! So I had a half a serving, which was plenty for me with a tossed salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. With all of this rain and gusting winds I am craving soup.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a nice butternut squash that needs using, and chicken stock in the freezer, so I think I'll make a pureed soup to which I can add a little lime-cilantro yogurt dollop, or maybe a scoop of quinoa for staying power.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really want to try making carrot-ginger soup. I tried one yesterday at this place called Beautiful in SF yesterday (I really had too much money in my checking account, and just had to hand some over to them ;)), it was not great, very unbalanced, but it sounded so good...
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm also looking through 101cookbooks and am now craving her red lentil-split pea soup with coconut milk and curry. Adding up points for recipes like this is still a bit challenging for me, but I'm sure I could figure it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Soups really have gotten me through this winter with the Weight watchers. both your carrot/ginger and the butternut squash one sound excellent. I always have home made soup available, because I have to bring stuff to work so often, and it's the perfect thing for me to bring, along with a salad, ff yogurt and fruit for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I plan to get a crab later on this afternoon and pick the whole to have around for salads, etc.. I think it will go well with my butternut squash soup too, which I usually like with crabCAKES. Anyone have a healthy crabcake recipe? I suppose a bit of panko and an egg couldn't hurt, but I have to weigh myself tomorrow so I'd like to be fairly virtuous.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Honestly, today is the first day I've craved sinful cakes. Almond cake with blackberry jam, come to me, I've missed you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crab is very low in points, so as long as your crabcakes are mostly crab and not mostly filler -- and as long as you bake rather than fry them -- they shouldn't be that bad. I don't have a particular recipe I use, but I think there are several on the WW website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: stomachofsteel

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, I will give them a shot. Baking, of course! Glad you mentioned this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. My BF made this for me tonight:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          we found it a tad bland but still really good and satisfying. served with whole wheat couscous. if you just upped the spices and lemon zest it would be really good, with no added points.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I'm on a cooking roll this weekend! Tonight was homemade pizza with home made whole wheat crust, topped with turkey pepperoni, roasted red peppers, red onions, and a mixture of fat free mozzarella and 2% mixed Italian cheeses,(5 points plus per slice) and a tossed salad I'm currently simmering a vegetarian chili from Epicurious. (don't know the points yet, but really low) I also made a Ratatouille this afternoon, which was a Rachel Ray recipe and turned out great. (8 points per serving) I'm also simmering chicken and veggies in water in the crock pot for shredded chicken for Chinese chicken salad (5 points) that I will make for tomorrow night's dinner, along with Chinese dumplings (2 points each) and Asian Shrimp noodle bowl (points not figured out yet) Also tomorrow, I will be making Marinated Mushrooms, and carrot cupcakes for my husband's birthday party on Sunday. (We're also having shrimp cocktail, grilled sirloin steaks, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and green salad.) And I will also make a batch of spinach meatballs for later in the week, when I'm back to work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. For lunch today I made a crab scramble that was really satisfying.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I started off cooking a few pieces of broccolini cut into one-inch lengths in a little bit of water, when that was tender I added some picked crab, some chicories and fennel and eventually three egg whites. Near the end I added a laughing cow wedge, which got soft and creamy and made me feel like there was some fat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              With half of an Earth Grain thin, it was 5 points.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good thing too, because I'm totally going to chow on tacos tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                god that sounds good! i love how you are getting so creative with this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                my lunch was a slice of high fiber wheat toast, little butter, a poached egg, and a strip of bacon crumbled over the top. 5 pts. too! and same here, splurging tonight with a Jamie Oliver recipe. I'll just exercise (some) portion control for that. and then go exercise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't busted out the bacon yet, but it seems like a good way to get some flavor. I just have to limit myself to one piece.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I returned my Jamie Oliver books to the library today, thinking I would just be torturing myself if I tried to cook from them. I think that was probably an impulsive move, there are sure to be lighter recipes, but the pasta dishes were calling to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next month COTM is Around My French Table, which I have and would like to cook from finally, but I haven't opened it for fear of craving, and then making and consuming, all of the delicious looking forbidden foods.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -I know nothing is supposed to be "forbidden", but I'd rather eat more lean stuff than little amounts of rich food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    especially at these early stages, it's best to be "stricter" with yourself for awhile. that way, you see results and get so motivated!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nice! Sounds amazing. For lunch today, i was dealing with a "family emergency", and grabbed some almonds (12, which = 2 points) some mini rice cakes (13=2 points) a banana and a bottle of water. Eaten in the car, on the way to take my mom to see her brother in the hospital (he had a stroke last night, but is doing pretty well) For supper, though, which I was back to cooking by 3 ish, Spicy shrimp noodle bowl (still haven't figured out points, but probably less than 4) 4 potstickers at 2 points each, Chinese chicken salad, 5 points and a glass of Plum wine, 4 points. So I think I might be a little over points for the day, but only by 2 or 3 points, because my breakfast was 4 points too. There's always tomorrow:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, my dinner is going to be about portion control, because the pts. will be out of control. that's ok, it's a splurge! it smells wonderful right about now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    your dinner sounds great. and don't forget, you get an extra 35 pts. a week to play with, so i'm sure you're fine. Sorry about your uncle.... hope he'll recover soon and with little impact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh, i never thanked you for the recipe for the pot sticker, i remember seeing it, thinking, i've got copy that, then forgot. i'll go back to the old thread and search for it. thanks again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A day like you had, you deserve some extra points. I hope your Uncle continues to improve, and all the best to you and your Mom as well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When you have a chance, can you share your recipe for the Spicy Shrimp Noodle Bowl?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That sounds so good, as does the Chinese chicken salad, which I've been meaning to make a big batch of. What do you use for dressing? The Soy Vai guys make one, but I've never looked at the nurtitional info. on it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight I'm having chicken tacos, with a side of Eye of the Goat beans (a new bean for me, but they are supposed to be delicious on their own). I got those little corn tortillas para tacos from a local place in town. They are so small, don't I get to eat four or five? Ha, I will try to stick to two. Or maybe three.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the encouragement and support, ladies!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        @Maria...did you find the potsticker recipe? If not, i can repost.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        @ Rabaja, yes, I will post it tomorrow, when I have access to the magazine its in. It was very good. The chinese chicken salad dressing is 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I happen to have and used reduced fat, and it was fine) 2 teaspoons brown sugar, a teaspoon grated fresh ginger, three tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, just whisked together. My daughter put the recipe in the e-tools gadget for such things and came up with the whole salad being 4 points plus per serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent, thank you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          All those flavor packing ingredients, plus chicken and the salad veg and it's only four points? Sounds too good to be true, but I will totally take it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spicy shrimp noodle bowl:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 pound tail on shrimp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 1/2 cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup ff low sodium chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 eight oz bottle clam juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 (1/4 inch thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 garlic clove, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup sugar snap peas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 ounces uncooked rice sticks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            lime wedges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1) Remove shrimp tails, set aside combine shrimp tails, water, broth, clam juice, and ginger in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes Strain broth mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2) Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add bell pepper, yellow onion, and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add shrimp, peas, chili garlic sauce, salt and noodles; cook 5 minutes or until noodles are done. Ladle 1 1/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls, top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            calories: 236 Fat: 3.6 g (sat 0.7g; mono 1.3 g, poly 1g) Cholesterol: 174 mg; calcium: 84 mg; carbohydrates 25.4 g; sodium: 506 mg; protein 26.5 mg; fiber 1.9g; iron 3.7 mg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Source: Cooking Light)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I figure 6 points plus per serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            would you mind, please? that would be great! thanks...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I got a recipe this week for Irish Soda bread that I'm going to attempt to lighten up. Easy enough right, substitute lite butter and buttermilk for regular... maybe not as many raisins, and I could probably add some whole wheat flour. I'll have to plug it into the recipe builder and see what it says.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whole wheat flour makes wonderful soda bread, and raisins are not necessary. My recipe uses no butter either, and buttermilk is usually fat free

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks magiesmom, I'll check that out. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Got home just after 8pm, chopped up some green garlic, a spring onion, half of a delicata squash and about five stalks of broccolini. Threw it all in a bowl, tossed it with a container of cherry tomatoes, 1 tsp of olive oil, a splash of banyuls vinegar and some fresh thyme. Into a gratin dish it all went, set a bone-in, skin-on, salted chicken breast on top. 450F oven for 35 minutes, let it rest for 5 more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Over bulgur, with 4 1/2 ounces of meat sliced off the bone and juices from the veg. (no skin, of course), absolutely delicious and I was sitting down in less than an hour.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy Tuesday everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds amazing, and Happy Tuesday to you too!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whole wheat penne (1 measured cup:) with 3 spinach meatballs and 1/3 cup sauce=8
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          glass of merlot while cooking=4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          refill of glass,to 4 oz mark, while it was still 1/3 full=2?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Apple with reduced fat peanut butter=3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow - you have gone, in a few short weeks, from someone who was leery of the plan to someone who should now be planning and cooking my meals for me! that sounds so delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BF made me a soup of leftovers, mostly veggies, a little chicken, with some very sweet darkly roasted brussels sprouts i made a few days ago. plus a salad, plus this Bolivian empanada-like thing (which i had no idea how to calculate, but i found a listing for empanada in an old book and just used that and added a few points for good measure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, mariacarmen! I try to be creative. Your bf's soup sounds great too! And I often end up somewhat randomly assigning point to things like you did the empanada:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I try to keep it pretty simple yet interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Today I picked up 3/4 of a pound of Cobia. A very nice thick piece of fish. Browned it in an pan and finished it in the oven. Served it over a vegetable salad that consisted of thin slices of raw zucchini, fennel, radishes, orange supremes, thin slices of a yellow beet that had been roasted and the tops of the fennel fronds. The vinaigrette was made from mustard, a splash of maple syrup and a mixture of rice, cider and sherry vinegars along with a little evoo. The salad was lightly dressed. A nice low WW point dinner for two. Fresh tasting and pleasing to the eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You are fortunate to be someplace where you can get cobia. It's a wonderful fish; my husband caught a 30 pounder last fall when we were on vacation, and we had cobia just about every way I could think of! Your salad sounds great as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. last night i had parmasan crusted pork chops which were simmered in a thickened beef stock with potatoes and onions. lots of steamed broccoli on the side. i got 10 pts for a cup of potatoes, one chop, and all the broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Reviving the MAIN topic for Points Plus. I started WW on Dec 5, when they started Points+, and am down 23.6. Started it for my wedding, which was Sunday, and my dress was too big even with a fitting a few weeks before. Hoping the wedding weekend didn't set me back too much, but I'm willing to gain a few in the name of delicious wedding food and cake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My favorite WW recipes from the site are:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Senagalese peanut and sweet potato stew (mentioned previously)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                baked eggplant parm with whole wheat spaghetti

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Skinny taste:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tuna noodle casserole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                will be making zucchini enchilladas next week

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Others I make:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                veggie tacos - using soy crumbles instead of meat, and instead of taco shells, we use guiltless gourmet chips at 18 for 3 points. Husband is skinny, eats whatever he wants...so I turn mine in to a HUGE taco salad with the 'meat' over romaine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fish/chicken - I make him a piece of fish and me a piece of chicken with roasted grape tomatoes, roasted brussles sprouts and a starch - sweet potatoes, roasted new potatoes, etc. Filling and delicious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hungry Girl's kung pao chicken, subbing tofu and ommiting the sugar (we use honey instead - it thickens the sauce well - it's REALLY good)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jeserf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Congrats! On the wedding and the weight loss!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is there a yummy honeymoon destination in your near future?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nope. Husband's going to Afghanistan. We may go to Europe when he comes home, but it's not in me to plan much of that while he's deployed - bad karma!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Jeserf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    +1 on congratulations and thank you to your husband for serving our country! Like your meal ideas too. I started WW on 11/4, right before they switched to points plus, but I am liking the points plus pretty well. I've lost (at last tuesday's not so great weigh in...) a total of 21.2 pounds, and would like to lose about 20 more pounds. I am currently re-committed to tracking every single thing, and exercising every single day i do a 20 minute Walk and Tone workout, which is on Fit Tv on demand.. I am also at the point where I am a little bored with the stuff I have been cooking and want to change things up a little bit, so am really seeking new ideas. I also work full time, and my husband is semi-retired, and is a great cook He will cook on his days off, which is a nice break for me. Although I love to cook, I get tired of trying to figure out what we will be having, planning ahead, grocery shopping, cooking ahead, packing breakfast and lunch, and sometimes supper as well to take to work if i have a late day. I'm also tired of winter foods and looking forward to adding spring foods to our menu!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I came up with turkey lettuce tacos. I get lean ground turkey and sauté with taco spices. I use lettuce leaves instead of tortillas, add ff refried beans, salsa, sometimes low fat cheese. It does the trick, really filling and the volume is huge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: adido

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds wonderful! On my list now, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I've been looking around the Self magazine website....they have some 10 day diet challenge thing, in which i will not be participating, but there are some good meal ideas there. I'll be trying some of them next week, and will post reviews Tonight's dinner was chicken parm ( 2 oz) 1/2 cup whole wheat penne, with about 1/4 cup Classico florentine sauce....and a small slice of my husband's home made whole wheat baguette.about 12 points for the meal. Then I had apple slices dipped in 1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter (2 points) and 24 dark chocolate covered almonds (4 points).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I have a new favorite thing. It is shrimp, purchased from my local market, cooked and shelled. They are not the tiny Bay shrimp that so many think of and go "Ewww". They are longer, and so sweet, yet smaller than regular shrimp. I love to buy a half pound ($9.95/lb. too, such a deal), and have them for two meals with butter lettuce and a nice shalloty-lemony vinaigrette. It makes a nice lunch, or a great first course before dinner. Filling and with the dressing, just three points.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am off to buy more today and will ask if they have a proper name.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dinner tonight is still up in the air. I'd like crab or fish, shall have to see what looks good. Hell, I'd like a big, fat juicy steak, but after work indulgences yesterday (one tiny, perfectly cooked slider, five pieces of dim sum, a scoop of frosting -hey, it's my job to taste the frosting), that probably shouldn't happen. It is stew weather here...what to do...cioppino?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One thing: I'd like to start a part 2 of this thread, any objections?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Go for it -- this thing's getting unwieldy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One of my favorite things lately, speaking of shrimp, is to make beer-steamed peel-and-eat shrimp. We get wild shell-on shrimp and steam it with onions, celery, lemons, a bottle of beer (to about a pound of shrimp) and lots of Old Bay. I love it and shrimp are so low in points that I feel like I get a lot. I haven't been counting points for the beer, since I'm not drinking it, but I always wonder if it's adding any calories/carbs to the shrimp? Either way I'm sure it's not much. I eat it with a salad or some (lightly-dressed) cole slaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: stomachofsteel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wouldn't count the points for that either. You're not really consuming it..and I love the sound of that as an alternative to shrimp cocktail!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please do it. This thread is getting long and harder to navigate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Starting a new thread is a great idea. I would if i knew how:) I love shrimp too, and find them a great "points" bargain. I have been serving shrimp cocktail at every party /holiday/event we have had lately, as well as a fruit platter with a dip made of fat free some berry flavored yogurt mixed with Cool Whip free, which sounds "boxy" and like the stuff I usually object to, but really tastes good! I also have a big tossed salad, and I eat salad for lunch and dinner almost every day. I have also found a bottled dressing that I love, Kraft light parmesan asiago balsamic viniagrette, and it travels well back and forth to work with me (apparently it doesn't require refrigeration, because I have left it in my bag in my office for all day, and it is fine that night on my salad.nothing in it can really spoil) Cioppino sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I arrived home from work at 5:10, to find my kids and grandkids already eating a quick dinner of their own making, because they needed to be out the door to go to a basketball game by 5:30. I had planned home made pizza with home made whole wheat crust ( my husband had pre-made the dough for me) Husband was coming home for his supper break from work at 6, but there was plenty of leftover last night's chicken parm for him to have, so my mom and I went out for a grown up dinner. Nothing fancy, just Ruby Tuesday's, because it is in the mall and I had some stuff to do there, and there are WW friendly options. We each had a pear sangira ( a little too sweet, and I have to look up the nutritional info and figure points) the salad bar, I made a salad of all veggies, with 1 tbsp lite balsamic viniagrette, and I had the cajun grilled fish with cheddar mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side. Salad, main and sides were pretty good, and I was really full when we left. Under 500 calories for the dinner (not counting the sangria)...so maybe like 12 points. And I had 17 left for the day. not bad. Really enjoyed having grown up conversation uninterrupted by little ones, and not having to clean up:)