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Weight Watchers Foodies - Let the Sun Shine in Edition - May 2013 [old]

The advent of beautiful weather means more delicious fruits in the market, and more easy dinners with grilling moving to center stage. These are good things for us Weight Watchers. How will you be keeping on track this month?

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  1. I found a way to really spice up plain old boring chicken breasts. I am using a vindaloo simmer sauce made by Maya Kaimal and sold at Whole Foods in the refrigerator section. It really is super, and not too bad with the points (3 points for 1/4 of the container, which is far more than a single serving). I've added lots of streamed cauliflower and some peas to the chicken to spread everything out. I'll serve it with some basmati rice.

    1. Today was my weigh in, and I was happy to be down 2 more pounds. It seemed as if I had been meandering off track ever since Easter, and I really feel as if I'm solid again.

      The last couple of days I have been really enjoying tuna salad made with the Costco water packed tuna mashed up with half an avocado. I add in lots of vegetables, and it really is quite satisfying. Dinner will be something with shrimp, which I find is the easiest seafood to make interesting and diet-friendly. I'm thinking of doing a rub and grilling it...

      1 Reply
      1. re: roxlet

        Wow 2 more! That's awesome.

        I've been pleased that a lot of the recipes from this month's COTM have been very "healthy eating" friendly. He focuses on using chiles and herbs to give flavor, using very little oils etc. I love it.

        After hovering around my maintenance weight for awhile, and even shooting up 2lbs after having a giant dinner and 25oz of beer... I'm now down 1.5lbs below where I'm supposed to be maintaining at... oops. I'm still trying to figure out that perfect balance of weeknight eating, with splurging on the weekends. I try to eat less on weekdays to compensate for the weekends, but I think I don't eat enough on weekdays, obviously. So, still struggling with that. I could stand to lose more weight since I'm at the very tippy top of a "normal" BMI but I just spent close to $500 on all new summer clothes so they need to fit me all summer!

      2. I just returned from a fabulous San Francisco/Napa vacation. So, needless to say, I'm going to have to work really hard the next few weeks. I haven't had the guts to step on that scale yet.
        So, tomorrow back to the spin studio and keeping the cork in the wine bottle. That seems to help the most. What I eat tends NOT to be the problem.
        I'll be checking in for inspiration frequently, My WW CH friends!

        1. A tip I got at my WW's meeting today, that I had never done before, was to use Lipton's onion soup mix in Greek yogurt to make a dip for vegetables. I'm eating it right now, and it's really delicious!

          8 Replies
          1. re: roxlet

            a healthy variation on the sour cream and soup mix classic! I actually had a great dip at a burger joint recently, and the waitress told me that it was just greek yogourt and chives.. so good.

            1. re: roxlet

              I've read of people doing that w/ ranch dressing mix too. I like the onion soup mix idea though. I think actually have some somewhere in the pantry.

              1. re: juliejulez

                I just finished off the last of it with some celery, and I think it improved by sitting. The onions kind of rehydrated, so it was particularly good.

                1. re: roxlet

                  oh yes, i've done that - but just used my own dried herbs - granulated onion, garlic, dried dill.... that way you can play with flavors. it's fab!

                  1. re: roxlet

                    There was a snack idea on the WW site today where you mix cottage cheese with light sour cream, with chopped chives, salt and pepper. It was divine! I dipped English cucumber rounds into it.

                  2. I've been in a tuna/avocado/cucumber/tomato rut for lunch lately, but today I just wasn't in the mood. Instead, I sauteed some onions, serranos, and tomatoes and made an omelet. I whipped up two eggs and two egg whites with my Bamix until it got nice and foamy. I cooked the eggs until almost done, and added on Laughing Cow light cheese that I had sliced up, and covered that. The eggs puffed up a bit, and I added the vegetable mixture to the cheese, and turned out onto a plate. It was big, super tasty, and only 5 points. Score on all counts!

                    1. I happen to love grilled vegetables, but my husband doesn't. I just grilled a whole mess of them -- eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, red peppers and baby artichokes. He doesn't have to eat them, but I will, happily.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: roxlet

                        I love grilled vegetables too :) They're so good on their own, or mixed up with other things. I grilled up some asparagus for my dinner last night!

                        1. re: juliejulez

                          I've never heard of anyone not liking grilled vegetables. They sound wonderful, and reading your post made me wish that I had some outdoor space for a BBQ.. my George Foreman just doesn't cut it!

                          1. re: rstuart

                            Lol. He doesn't like roasted vegetables either!

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Craziness! Those are the two best ways to eat vegetables!

                        2. re: roxlet

                          We don't grill vegetables much, but I will inhale a good amount of most vegetables which are roasted and it really completes a meal and keeps me full for quite a while.

                        3. I usually eat salad for lunch because I like to save my points for dinner but I just couldn't face a salad today.

                          The other night I grilled hamburgers for my family and I had a Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken burger (3 pts.). I made an extra one so today for lunch I had the chicken burger on a whole wheat roll with lettuce, tomato, and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge for a total of 7 pts. It was good and pretty filling.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: valerie

                            Are those in the freezer at TJ's or in the cooler with the meat? That sounds pretty good!

                            1. re: roxlet

                              They are in the freezer section, a small square box. They come out great on the grill but in a pinch I have been known to cook them in a pan on the stove.

                              When I grilled them the other night, I also grilled some vidalia onion and had that on top of the chicken burger.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                I used to buy them all the time when I had a TJ's nearby... really fast and tasty.

                            2. I made this chicken vindaloo tonight, http://bevcooks.com/2013/01/chicken-v... I subbed in light coconut milk and forgot the peas, but otherwise I did it as written... it came in at 377 calories per serving, so very reasonable but tons of flavor. And easy easy easy.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: juliejulez

                                How did you calculate the calories? I'd like to figure out certain recipes, so I can judge if they are healthy-ish..,,

                                1. re: rstuart

                                  I use the recipe builder on sparkrecipes.com. I track my food on sparkpeople.com and the two sites sync up, makes it easy for me to add my home cooked food to my food trackers without having to enter each item individually. I believe there's a few other recipe calculating sites out there too and I know WW has a points calculator.

                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                    Thanks.. good to know. Not on WW, just try to eat healthy...(well, most of the time)

                                  2. re: rstuart

                                    The WW site also has a recipe calculator for points.

                                2. i'm sooooooo happy to be back on fruit - missed it so much! this week has been rather bad, a week after vacation, but i'm gearing up. luckily, we walked so much on vacation, and split a few meals, that i didn't gain anything on our trip - i think i even lost 2 lbs! (ahem, since gained back.) so, i'm keeping portions small during the day, leaving some room for dinner to play. limiting carbs but not avoiding if they are presented. next up: the gym!

                                  1. Tonight I made this Easy Garlic Chicken. I've made it before and it's pretty good. 6 pts. per serving.


                                    The chicken goes well with pasta or rice or couscous, anything to soak up the sauce, but tonight I made it with these Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes. They did not go over well with my family. I would not make them again.


                                    23 Replies
                                    1. re: valerie

                                      Funny, we love those mashed potatoes here, my SO even requests them specifically. Different strokes I guess :)

                                      1. re: valerie

                                        I hate when recipes call for things like "light" butter. What is that exactly? I'd rather go without than eat fake stuff.

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          Same here. I should have said above that I sub in regular butter and greek yogurt for the sour cream. Actually and usually whole milk too since that's all I usually have around since I don't drink milk. The calories don't go up too much even with all those changes.

                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                            same here, i don't like buying "light" anything.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              This country has never been fatter since the advent of "low fat" foods.... stay away from that stuff!

                                            2. re: juliejulez

                                              There are some things that I don't mind "light" versions of, but it's really the "fat free" items that are disgusting. In an effort to save the points, I went with the fat free sour cream and I think that was the culprit that made them taste weird.

                                              It's interesting because people seem to have success with Skinny Taste's recipes. Honestly, the ones that I have tried have not been that good. For me, I'd rather use a recipe that has no sour cream at all, for example, than use the fat free version. Same goes with fat free cheese...I'd rather use no cheese at all than use fat free cheese.

                                              1. re: valerie

                                                I've found the recipes to be hit and miss. I really like her turkey meatloaf (they're in mini form on her site) with the bacon and BBQ sauce on top, and her pork chop recipes w/ the various pan sauces have been really good (one is dijon herb and the other is mushroom). She also has some good ideas like for salisbury steak, mixing half ground beef with half turkey. You don't notice it, but the calories are greatly reduced. This pasta dish was very good too, www.skinnytaste.com/2012/11/pasta-wit... I just used regular butter ;


                                                Her site was a lifesaver for me when I was first starting out though. Just by reading her recipes I learned some good tricks to help save on the calories... even something as simple as just using less oil when sauteing a piece of chicken. Nowadays I'm pretty good at just modifying recipes from all kinds of sources but for a newbie, that site is great.

                                                I would try those mashed potatoes again with the greek yogurt instead of non-fat sour cream. They don't taste weird and even my sour cream loving boyfriend likes them, he had no idea what was in them til I told him.

                                                But yeah, I don't do low fat dairy except for yogurt, and that's just a taste/texture thing for me. For cooking I use 2% Fage, for eating straight up I do 0%. I just like the taste/texture of the 0%... I actually didn't like greek yogurt at all until I had the Fage 0. Low-fat/fat free cheese makes me want to gag. I'd rather just use less of the real thing.

                                                Don't even get me started on non-fat salad dressing...

                                                1. re: valerie

                                                  The only recipe of hers I've really followed is her chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta, covered with marinara and sprinkled with low fat mozzarella and baked. It was excellent. In fact, I should make it again soon!


                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    If you like that recipe, you should try the zucchini stuffed chicken. It's outstanding!

                                                    Personally almost every single one of her recipes I've tried have been great (and approve by my non-WW fiance).

                                                  2. re: valerie

                                                    I have found that low-fat stuff (cream cheese, sour cream) is fine, and works well in recipes.. the fat free stuff is pretty vile. Light butter is just wrong.. it's just full of water!

                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                      I agree -- low-fat sour cream is fine, but I have not tried the low fat cream cheese. I find that when I make Green Goddess dressing with low fat mayo and sour cream, no one can tell the difference. I think that the more you have strong tastes in a recipe, the easier it is to use a low fat version.

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        Agree too. Low fat sour cream and cream cheese are fine.

                                                        And that recipe for chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta sounds good. I will try it out soon.

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          The low fat sour cream and cream cheese is fine for me but I can't get into the low fat cheese, it just tastes too different to me and doesn't melt well. What's your Green Goddess dressing? I don't think I've tried that one yet.

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            Here you go. It's fabulous with salmon -- warm or cold -- and with crudite. One of my most requested recipes and it's so easy.

                                                            Green Goddess Dressing

                                                            1 cup mayonnaise (reduced fat is OK)
                                                            1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                                            1 clove of garlic finely chopped
                                                            1 tablesppon tarragon vinegar (or use white wine vinegar with a tiny dash of taragon)
                                                            1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
                                                            1/4 cup chopped parsley
                                                            1/2 cup sour cream (low fat is ok)
                                                            4 anchovies, chopped
                                                            freshly ground black pepper

                                                            Put all the ingredients except the sour cream into a blender. Blend until all ingredients are well amalgamated. Remove to a bowl and stir in the sour cream. Do not blend with the sour cream!

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                roxlet, that green goddess dressing is FABULOUS!!!! Best thing that has come out of my kitchen in I don't know how long. I had it with crispy romaine heart and local asparagus and radishes. My only change was to use chives (which I have an overabundance of) rather than green onions. I snipped more chives on top of my salad. I can hardly wait for tomorrow night's salad, but think I might thin out the dressing just a bit with a spoonful of buttermilk as it thickened up quite a bit after a few hours in the fridge. Amazing dressing, thank you so much!!!

                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                  You're quite welcome. I can't tell you how many guests have asked for this recipe after having it at our house. For parties, we use it as a crudite dip, but it is also unbelievably fabulous on cold salmon. Did you make it with low fat sour cream and mayo?

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    No, I went full fat. :) It will be the only thing I serve with crudités henceforth and I am plotting how to get salmon in the next day or two to go with what is left (2 salads' worth in my greedy usage, but maybe thinning it a bit I can get 3). Meanwhile I still have tears dripping off my nose....

                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                I use lower-fat old cheddar.. I eat so much cheese, I figure that I might as well.It doesn't melt quite as well, but it's not bad. And lower-fat feta.. otherwise, they aren't as good. The worst was "reduced fat brie". What was I thinking..?

                                                              3. re: roxlet

                                                                My go-to brand of sour cream actually has the same amount of points in regular as it does in the low fat version, so I just use regular, since it’s all the same points value anyways.

                                                                Some low fat products are actually great! I love Hellman's reduced fat mayo, reduced fat Kraft peanut butter, reduced fat Pringles (regular), light cream cheese, skim milk. The list goes on.

                                                                Sometimes my mood is totally cool with incorporating low fat substitutes (never even heard of light butter). Sometimes nothing but full fat will do. It depends on how I feel really.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  Low fat ricotta is OK too (good for lasagne etc). I have used lite cream cheese in pound cakes etc and it's fine (although when you use 3/4 lbs of butter and 6 eggs in a recipe, using lite cream cheese seems rather futile, now that i think about it..)

                                                        2. Arrg. A gain of a pound this week. I had too many B-L-Ts I think -- bites, licks and tastes, and they all add up. Last night we had shrimp and chorizo tacos, and I had a few too many "tastes" of the chorizo, which seems to be made entirely of fat and salt. Yum. Delicious! Since the weather is so crappy today -- cold and rainy -- I decided to have some soup for lunch and I went for the Progresso light Italian vegetable with only 4 points + for the can, plus some grated Romano for 1. I also had the remainder of the grilled vegetables that I made the last time we had sun. Oh, let me see. When was that...

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            That pound gained could have been from the salt in the chorizo! I've found whenever I have a gain all of a sudden it's usually because I've been eating too much salt.

                                                            Edit to add: But, to gain a pound of actual fat you would have had to overconsume by 3500 calories. While the bites and tastes don't help things, they don't add up to 3500 calories :) So, the culprit is probably the salt.

                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                              Yeah, I'm hoping that's what it is since I actually was feeling I had lost weight. At any rate, I'm doubling down. No BLTs this week!

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                I weigh daily and so I've started noticing trends... definitely after a night of eating out or having a high sodium meal at home I "gain" and if alcohol is in the mix, I REALLY "gain", even if it's just a couple beers that are still within my range for the day. I've gained 4 lbs overnight because of eating out and drinking the night before. It goes away after 2-3 days though.

                                                                Controlling the BLTs sure is hard though, especially when little bits of sausagey goodness are involved.

                                                            2. re: roxlet

                                                              yes, a pound is nothing, and temporary! you'll be fine next week. juliejulez' logic is spot on!

                                                            3. Well, despite my resolve to stay true to WW,and it was Mother's Day and I went pretty far into my weekly points. Oh, well. What's a mom to do?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                Eh. Part of the journey is to figure out a plan that works with your lifestyle, and well, life happens.

                                                              2. I like this skinnytaste.com pasta salad with only 5 pts+ per serving.


                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  I saw that yesterday. I'd probably add in some grilled chicken to give it more protein but it looks delicious even without. I added it to my neverending list of recipes to try :)

                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                    I will definitely make this one too, and the chicken add-in is exactly what I was planning on doing.

                                                                2. After a big loss on the scale last Thursday, my dieting has been less than scrupulous after the sudden death of our beloved pooch on Friday, which threw me for a loop. Friday night, I indulged in a martini and wine, a very unusual occurrence these days, as well as fries and a steak for dinner. I'm more or less back on track, and I wrote Friday off and didn't even tally up the points.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: valerie

                                                                      Thank you. It's hard to get used to not seeing her when I come home. It's just not the same.

                                                                  1. My new favorite 2pts+ breakfast: Fage nonfat yogurt sweetened with Splenda over a combo of bananas, raspberries, peaches (the first of the season, and quite good) and blueberries. Essentially, it's a fruit salad with a little yogurt cream.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      That's similar to my breakfast... 0% Fage mixed with apples and cinnamon, and I add 1/3 cup granola too, but it's good even without the granola.

                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                        That sounds good too. Have you found a less calorific granola? I sometimes add a couple of tablespoons of Grape Nuts for a bit of texture and crunch. That's only 1pts+

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          Not really, but by only using 1/3 cup (serving size on the box is 2/3) it isn't so bad....105 calories not sure how that would translate to points. I use Cascadian Farms Organic Cinnamon Raisin Granola. There aren't tons of raisins in it though and it does have less calories than some other brands I've seen. Plus, no weird chemically ingredients in the ingredient list.

                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                        I don't mind going up to 4 pts. for breakfast. Lately I've been eating a Chobani Bite yogurt (coffee with dark chocolate chips) which is 2pts., plus a serving of this Fiber One Cereal (80 calorie chocolate cereal), which is also 2 points.


                                                                        I layer them in a cup with a banana and it is a very filling 4 pts. And I like the coffee/chocolate/banana combo.

                                                                        1. re: valerie

                                                                          That sounds good! I'll have to add those to my shopping list and give that a try next week.

                                                                          1. re: valerie

                                                                            Sounds good, although chocolate in the morning isn't really my thing. I love the parfait idea though.

                                                                        2. Why is it so hard to find information (ie: point values) for REAL food on WW. It drives me crazy to have to input each item in a salad for instance or write recipe trackers to get points.

                                                                          Today I've struggled to find points for rotisserie chicken. I'm making it at home on my grill (with bones and skin) and I want to live up to my points tracker. Any suggestions?

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                            It's a pain in the ass, but if you eat chicken breast it's about 1 point per ounce, if that helps.

                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              How much is added for cooking with bones and skin? That skin is sooo hard to resist, all crunchy and salty off the grill!

                                                                            2. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                              I used myfitnesspal.com (free) to get the nutritional info for a lot of foods, and then plug it in to WW. It is a PITA initially, but once you have it entered and saved as one of your regular foods, you're good to go.

                                                                            3. So, after my rant, a nice recipe for spinach dip/spread.

                                                                              1 1/2 cups 0% Fage greek yogurt
                                                                              10 oz frozen spinach ( thawed and all excess water squeezed out), chopped
                                                                              1 clove grated garlic
                                                                              1 spring onion grated
                                                                              1 t cumin
                                                                              2 t olive oil

                                                                              stir to combine.
                                                                              Other herbs and spice possibilities are endless. I spread it on Wassa crackers or even on Ezekiel bread for breakfast (with tomatoes)

                                                                              I input it in the recipe tracker and 1/4 cup is 2 points. I think I'll be keeping this one on hand. Very satisfying!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. OK, if you like hot dogs, this is the bomb: Hebrew National 97% fat free hot dogs are 1p+ each! I used 1 slice of WW rye bread (which is a longish slice, so it works as a bun), which is also 1p+, some kraut and some mustard, and voila! A two point hot dog. I'll confess: I had three for lunch!

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                  I love hot dogs! I'll give these a try. I should've bought them when they were buy one get one at the grocery store for Memorial Weekend!

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    I was really bummed out that those have soy in them. I don't want a hot dog often (I usually crave a chili dog,) but when I did I wanted it NOW and would only eat Hebrew National. I don't usually eat low fat products but the nutritional info on those is very friendly (other than the soy.)

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      Thanks for the tip! Quite good!

                                                                                      We don't have these in Canada so I picked up a pack when in the States last week. Very nice!

                                                                                      I felt they were best plain. Ketchup and mustard seemed to mask the dog's flavour. For me at least. Going to have to pick up several packs when next in the U.S. Thanks.