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Weight Watchers Foodies -- Groundhog Day Edition! -- February 2014 [OLD]

I happen to love the movie Groundhog Day, and since we will be informed of that critter's ruling on the duration of winter tomorrow, I thought that both things combine to make an apt title for our monthly discussion.

Groundhog Day is a very good example of the adage (spoken frequently by my WW leader, BTW): If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. That pretty much describes the movie, and the ongoing struggle to change the way we deal with food.

And on the other hand, the groundhog will soon let us know how many more days to spring, and when all the winter wrappings and layers come off, I, for one, want there to be a whole lot less of me underneath.

So let's get going, WW Foodies!

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  1. Great into to the month, roxlet. Love it :)

    1. I wanted to wait for a fresh thread to talk about this, since the last one got so long....

      Weight Watchers cookbooks. The ladies in my group seem to be the type that don't like cooking, don't really know how, or just have a very different palate than me, so I can't really ask them.

      Are they worth the investment for a Chowhound? Do they have great recipes that are worth a look, or should I stick with finding suitable recipes online or altering regular recipes to fit my needs?

      29 Replies
      1. re: Kontxesi

        I just got the 20 minute book that a couple of the women in my meeting were touting, but I haven't completely gone through it yet, nor have I cooked from it. I will certainly post here when I do either.

        1. re: roxlet

          I'm very interested in hearing how this book works out for you.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I will certainly post here when I get to it!

          2. re: roxlet

            roxlet, I picked up copy of this book today. I'm really loving the "Great Grains" quick access info on the front and back cover flaps!

            Anyway, this book contains 70 Simple Start/Simple Filling recipes. If it would be motivating to you (because I know you're feeling a bit adrift at the moment), I would be happy to have a mini WW COTM with you in this thread where we each pick recipes out of this book to try and report on. Maybe if we each committed to trying one a week? Would that be helpful to you at all?

            ETA: Or, we could start an outside "cooking from" thread that might be a good reference for all of in the future, "Cooking from Weight Watchers Cookbooks"?

            ~TDQ

              1. re: roxlet

                So...what I think I might do, as long as there are no objections, is create a new outside "cooking from ww cookbooks" thread.

                I will continue (um, start?) to post my WW recipes reports in these monthly WW Foodies threads. Then link to THIS thread in the other thread. That way, over time, we can find those cookbook reports without having to remember which month's thread I (and other contributors, I hope!) posted them in.

                I suppose I should include other WW recipes since there are lots of WW recipes that come from pamphlets and their website and sources like that...

                Does that sound good?

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I was actually thinking about that this morning! I think that would be great, so that we don't have to search through months of threads to find recipe recommendations.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I think it sounds like a fun, great idea.
                    I don't actually own any WW cookbooks (maybe this exercise will tempt me), but if there are links maybe I can try some that are posted.

                    It would only add to my inspiration when cooking, so thanks for doing this.

                    1. re: rabaja

                      I don't own any either, as the ones I've seen seem to be geared towards people who don't cook much. I'm happy to let TDQ be the guinea pig and see if they are worth it! :)

                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                      OK, here's a link to the "Cooking From Weight Watchers cookbooks, pamphlets and other WW recipes" thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/966660

                      ~TDQ

                2. re: roxlet

                  My amazingly supportive husband is cooking crispy chicken with roasted red pepper sauce from Under 20 even as we speak! I'll let you know how it turns out. And whether it is be done "Under 20" or not. To be fair, we're doing 1.5 times the recipe,so it could take a little longer than 20 mins, I suppose.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    OMG, disaster, entirely due to user error. Will have to retry this on a different day. For the record, chicken is STILL cooking.

                    ~TDQ

                      1. re: Kontxesi

                        Gah. Well, first of all, it was incredibly kind and supportive of my husband to unload the dishwasher, cook dinner, and clean up, so I don't want to seem ungrateful or as if I'm dumping on him, it really was just a matter of my poor communication. I assembled all of the ingredients for this dish, pulled out the food processor and the kitchen scale, scaled the recipe to 1.5, (because of the weight of the chicken breasts I'd purchased) and walked my husband through the adjustments I wanted him to make to the recipe.

                        Basically you make a sauce in the food processor of a bit of balsamic vinegar (for which I attempted to substitute because I thought I had some and didn't--bad choice, it turned out a little too sour, don't do that), dust the chicken tenders in corn meal and pan fry them in olive oil and serve topped with the sauce you've warmed on the stove. Fresh basil goes into the dish, too, but I don't know if that's in the sauce or in the corn meal--both, I think. Also, garlic and S&P.

                        Anyway, I neglected to mention that he should slice the gigantor chicken breasts into tenders. So instead of a full recipe of 4 chicken tenders, which would cook relatively quickly, we had a 1.5 times recipe of only two chicken breasts (I had intended each gigantor chicken breasts to be sliced into 3 tenders each), but I didn't tell him to do that. Totally my fault. He cooks the meal to my specifications. If I don't tell him to do it, he probably won't--he asks questions as he goes if something doesn't make sense to him, but this one got past him. Normally this system of me setting everything up and him cooking works well for us, but tonight it did not. I probably should have sliced the chicken up but I didn't do a full mise en place because my toddler wanted to play hide and seek--so, I just assembled the ingredients and left my husband to his own devices.

                        So, instead of these nice, quick, svelte, cornmeal dusted chicken tenders, we had these humungo, thick, boring chicken breasts that took forever to cook, had the wrong ratio of cornmeal dusting to chicken, and weren't properly portioned.

                        I'd try this again as written and see what we think before I'd rate it. It was easy. It most certainly would have been quick. The chicken took on a nice golden color. As far as I can tell from our botched effort, I don't think the chicken ever gets crispy, but the cornmeal provides some texture. But, I could be wrong on that.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Aw! I hope he didn't feel too bad. My fiance would get pretty down and then not cook for a while. (Not that he cooks much as it is.... The kitchen is pretty much my territory at this point.)

                          1. re: Kontxesi

                            Oh, not all all. We have had our share of kitchen disasters--mostly mine--but it wasn't as if the dish was inedible or anything like that. Mostly I felt bad because I forgot to mention it and because it took longer than it should have. We have maybe 6-8 recipes we cook all the time at our house and, except for those, we hardly ever cook the same thing twice. We end up making a lot of mistakes!

                            Even though not perfect, it was still more interesting to try something new than the same old thing.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I rarely repeat recipes. I need to get a collection of recipes that I make on a regular basis and then only cook something new like... 2 days a week. There are just so many things to try!

                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                That's part of my problem, too, is that I rarely repeat recipes. And though I've tried zillions of them, I forget what I've tried. That's one reason I wanted to set up the "Cooking From" thread because it kind of forces me to document what I tried, what I liked didn't like, etc. to jog my memory later. EYB is a good place to do that too, of course, if you are a member, except that so few of the WW cookbooks are indexed.

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I tried to start a cooking journal once. Actually, I think I've done that twice now.... I know where both of them are, and they each have like three or four pages filled. :p

                                  I need to get them out and keep them in a kitchen drawer, so I'll be more likely to pull it out after dinner and write down what I made and what we thought about it.

                                  1. re: Kontxesi

                                    I usually email myself and then I have a nice searchable database.

                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                      I like journal idea :) For a couple of summers I kept a gardening journal. I am still having great time flipping through it. I might do it again this summer as I am planning to start a small garden on my balcony. And food journal is super helpfu. I keep little notebooks filled with recipes when i cook at my daughter's - recipes from books they are at home and the ones to try - these get crossed out if they are not great. I should start doing it for myself too - I have so many projects on the go that probably won't get organized for a while. Wish there were more hours in a day!

                                      1. re: herby

                                        I have so many plans to start a journal and always forget. Maybe I'll start one today. :)

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          One thing that I wished I had thought to do when my son was little, was to write down a single sentence every day about what he had said or done. You think you will never forget, but you will...

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            I'm going to go upstairs right now and get my diary.

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              I love this. You just made me tear up. I'm totally doing this.

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Pic attached of what the dish should look like according to the photo in the cookbook. The peas are a side dish, not part of the recipe. I suppose I should look to see if they are elsewhere in the cookbook. Wasn't mentioned in the serving suggestions for recipe.

                                ~TDQ

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Too bad! Sounds like a good idea, and certainly a 20 minute meal done in smaller pieces.

                        2. re: Kontxesi

                          My own preference is to find suitable recipes or adjust recipes to make them WW friendly.

                          I find that the Recipe Builder on the WW website is a great tool. If I find a recipe that I think would work, I enter it and then if I feel like it's too many points for what I want, I will adjust it to get it where I want. If I have to change something too much, then I usually just skip it and move on.

                          1. re: valerie

                            Yes, I agree, but sometimes it is nice to not have to do the work. Most of all, my problem is that no one else in my house is on WW, so I always have to adapt.

                        3. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                          I've made versions of this basically every other day for the past week.

                          I lost 5lbs in first 3 weeks!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: relizabeth

                            How many points is this? It looks quite interesting!

                            1. re: roxlet

                              4 servings- 10 pts

                              I've used the ratios in it to make a kimchi version (no cheese, and used canola oil and sesame oil) and a paella version (no cheese/smoked paprika). Very tasty.

                          2. I stepped on the scale this morning before leaving the house, and now I'm tempted not to go to my meeting this evening. What a terrible number. I knew I was going to be up, because I made chocolate chip cookies this weekend and ate almost the whole batch by myself, and then ate Chinese for lunch yesterday....

                            But DAMN.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Kontxesi

                              Chinese food is salty so you are likely holding some water.

                              Think about going to your meeting tonight anyhow. I know for myself, they can be really helpful for either staying on track or getting back on track. I know I wouldn't have stuck to things back in the fall if I hadn't kept going despite being sick and stressed. That weekly check in with others really helped me to focus long term and not just on the frustration I was feeling at the time.

                              The number on the scale is just that...a number. I wish there was a way to attend the meetings and only weight in occasionally....there's so much value in what goes in them and the scale becomes such a focus, often detrimentally.

                              I ate a waffle for lunch at work and pizza at the basketball game for dinner yesterday. It happens. Today is a new day! :-) Hang in there

                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                It happens.

                                I gained 8.8 lbs in a week and a half over the holdidays.

                                2 weeks later it was all gone. A good chunk of it water, I'm sure. I had Chinese too ;)

                                Do NOT worry. 2 weeks, it'll be gone.

                                1. re: Kontxesi

                                  Up 4.2, setting a record for myself. Oof. :(

                                  1. re: Kontxesi

                                    Disappointing, I know. I'm nervous about my weigh-in today. It was a good/bad week, so it could go either way...

                                2. We're sticking with Simple Start and are struggling to keep each days food from seeming like the day before - so the Groundhog Day metaphor can apply in another way.

                                  We poached a whole chicken on Sunday, last night I threw some wild rice mix into some of the broth, 20 minutes later added diced potato, diced carrot and herbes de Provence, and finally added the shredded chicken. Very satisfying chicken soup on a winter night.