Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ham & Cheese Omnomelet

On the weekends I sometimes like to make a big breakfast for my hubby & serve it to him in bed. I kinda got out of the habit once we started Weight Watchers because I hadn't gotten a good handle yet on how to make delicious food that didn't cost a ridiculous amount of Points. But I have since learned the many secrets of making fabulous meals for very little. 

This morning I decided to make ham & cheese omelets with toasted English muffins. Jamie (hubby) named it the Omnomelet.

Ham & Cheese Omnomelet
Points: 2/serving. Makes: 2 servings.

1 cup Egg Beaters
3 slices of Canadian bacon (I use the Jones Dairy Farm brand, but the slices should be about coaster sized) chopped
1 slice fat-free American cheese cut into strips
Pam cooking spray
salt & pepper

In a skillet (I used a square one) over med-high heat, coat with cooking spray. Once warmed, pour in Egg Beaters, salt & pepper as desired, add chopped bacon. Allow eggs to set. Once set, start on one side & start folding omelet over about 2" intervals. Lay cheese strips across the middle & continue folding. Be sure all eggs are set before doing this or it will fall apart (a good way to tell is that the eggs are coming away from the sides of the skillet). Cut in half & serve immediately.

Serve with 1 Point worth of English muffin or high fiber toast coated generously with spray butter if desired. Adding the bread adds to the Pointage.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Utilizing Weight's Recipe Builder (which is actually a lot more convenient than the Calorie one) I have put together tonight's dinner.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili!
POINTS Value: 3 per serving (all in all there were about 11 cups worth of ingredients, I estimate 1 1/3 cups per serving) Serves 8

3/4 lb boneless, skinless turkey breast
15 oz dark red kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
15 oz light red kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
15 oz tomato sauce
14.5 oz diced tomatoes
15 oz fat free chicken broth
1 packet McCormick Slow Cooker Chili seasoning
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup frozen chopped onions
8 oz 1" cut bite size carrots
1/4 cup brown rice (uncooked, rinsed)
1 tsp chili powder

Chop the turkey breast into strips or chunks, however you want really (you can also use ground turkey breast, as long as it's 99% fat-free) add to the crock pot. Add in beans, onions, tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, chili powder, garlic & pepper. Mix seasoning packet with broth & add to Crock. Set on Low for 6-8 hours, don't remove lid if possible until done.

*edited throughout cooking process. Done now though. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Leftover Shrimp Fried Rice

Hubby & I ordered Chinese delivery the other night. Off the "Special Diet" menu, which is basically Chinese Take-Out standards steamed w/o the heavy oil sauces mixed in, but they come on the side. Whenever we get Chinese food we always have those little boxes of steamed rice leftover, & I LOVE to use them later on to make fried rice.

It is no easy task to make fried rice a diet food, & even with my method it's playing close to the chest.  I call it a method because it has no rhyme & very little reason, I eyeball almost all the measurements & most additions are "to taste."

Basically, this is how I went about it:

1/2 cup Egg Beaters
1 cup mixed veggies (I used frozen corn & frozen peas.)
1 tbsp light yogurt margarine
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
4 oz mini salad shrimp
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 1/2 cups leftover rice
2 tsp olive oil

Over med-high heat place skillet coated with cooking spray, pour Egg Beaters into skillet & cook through (scrambled), remove from skillet & set aside. In same skillet, add margarine & garlic. Add frozen veggies & cook through. Add mini shrimp & cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove veggies & shrimp, set aside. In same skillet, add olive oil & 1 tbsp of soy sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan, then add leftover rice. Break up with spoon, add soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger & onion salt. MIX WELL. When rice is heated through completely, fold the eggs, veggies, & shrimp into the rice. Taste test, season accordingly.

Makes 4 servings. 5 Points per serving.*

*edited after further recipe analysis.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


For years before we started Weight Watchers my husband & I had been drinking skim milk, also called fat-free (don't be fooled they're the same thing.) The switch came from previous attempts at weight loss after being happy led to the inevitable being fat.  Suffice to say, it didn't help much at all because we didn't drink much milk to begin with & the problem was with our portion control.

Regardless, we just stuck with the fat-free skim milk because we had acquired a taste for it.  Eventually I took into consideration my husband's genetic predisposition to lactose intolerance & tried switching to soy milk (hubby didn't like the taste,) Lactaid Fat-Free (hubby thought it tasted funny,) & now I have discovered almond milk.

When it was first introduced on the market, I didn't even consider it because of how high calorie nuts are.  Some friends at a party shared some with us & the taste wasn't as terrifying as I had thought.  I didn't think twice about it until I was at the store & needed milk.  I humored my curiosity by checking the Facts on the Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla almond milk, & to my extreme surprise it had HALF the calories of fat-free skim milk. Even though it did have 3.5g of fat (vs. the 0g of skim,) it tallied up to being 1 point less per serving.  I was immediately sold.

Drinking it plain would definitely take some getting used to, but it is delicious in cereal (Fruit Loops w/ Fiber FTW!!!) It can be used for cooking as well! Hubby said it tastes different... so maybe he'll warm up to it eventually - but he liked it in his breakfast, so that's a start!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday. Week 30.

This marks the 30th week my husband & I have been on Weight Watchers. Between the two of us, we have lost over 50lbs & still going strong. I have been "maintaining" for a few weeks now, but am still losing a few pounds. Need to tweak my Points to get back to a plateau & stay steady.

Thinking about making a celebratory dinner tonight, Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes is pretty fabulous & I'm leaning toward the Chicken Piccata. Don't have real lemons or capers, so I'll have to make a few adjustments... might take it over to Calorie Count Analysis to see if it's a big change in the nutrition info.

In other news, I had a nice 5 Point lunch from Chipotle. A Veggie Burrito Bowl with rice, black beans, peppers, medium salsa & lettuce. It's nice & Chipotle Fan is a big help in working out what to order... though admittedly, I prefer Qdoba because they have better vegetables (but are decidedly more expensive Pointwise.)


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Starbucks Revisited.

It's been a busy weekend. I haven't had time to cook, or even eat anything diet-friendly. But I have had time for Starbucks.

Now, I don't want to come off as one of those pretentious elitists who sit around at Starbucks with their Macbooks & in-store mug cappuccinos. I'm really not. Actually, I think Starbucks coffee is really sub-par. But they have fancy drinks & can do a lot more than other coffee places to make things a little lighter.

In the previous post I mentioned Splenda Fiber. It really is a great thing to have handy when you're Weight Watching, or in general. I mean, people really don't get enough fiber in their diet & if you're not wanting to chow down on that cardboard-tasting bran muffin, a sweet little latte with 3 grams of fiber is nothing to shake a stick at! Or something like that... I made a discovery yesterday before trekking two counties away to perform a wedding that I can get a Iced Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte, sugar-free (the barista said Skinny meant non-fat & sugar free, but I don't know if all locations practice that) & add 4 packets of Splenda Fiber, gets me a giant 1 point nomnom. Now, I will say this about the Splenda Fiber: it doesn't dissolve in cold beverages the way regular sweetener does... it actually clumps up like corn starch & if you're not careful you'll suck up a big glob of it through your straw. So lots & lots of stirring, unfortunately, unless it's not busy & the barista will let you add it halfway through her making it.

So just a recap: if you love your coffee - you don't have to give it up. There are ways to work it in at minimal expense to your Daily Points or waistline. Sugar can be hard to ween from, but it only takes a few days of slowly adding the 0 cal alternative. Then adding the fiber will make it easier to enjoy more of it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Before we started our diet, I bought bottled Frappuccinos by the case. We loved them! However, at 4 points a bottle it was no longer feasible to be drinking them & it was a sad, sad day. Though there was a light at the end of my Frappuccino-less tunnel, as the Fates would have it I found New! Frappuccino Lights at Giant on sale. 100 calories & 60% less sugar than the original. Whipped out my crack-ulator, low & behold! 2 Points! After 7 months of training my stomach to work with my Daily allotment, I could EASILY reason 2 Points worth of sweet coffee goodness. Huzzah! Now to get Costco to sell them by the case...

Also, apparently, the actual Starbucks stores now have Light blended Frappuccinos. They're about 160 calories, the Weight Watchers app puts them at 3 Points... though after ordering one I saw that they use the regular syrup flavoring. I think if the sugar-free syrup option was requested, along with no whip or caramel/chocolate drizzle... it might make it leaner still. Regardless, I had one yesterday & it was pretty good (oddly foamy though.)

Lastly, I will tell you about my incorporation of Splenda with Fiber into my coffee shop trysts. Starbucks advertises their Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte as 90 calories; if you add 3 packets of Splenda with Fiber, you're adding 3 grams of fiber to your coffee... weird? But you go from a 2 Point latte to a 1 Point indulgence!

Dieting doesn't have to be work, make IT work for YOU!
Be creative & don't give up! You can have your coffee & drink it too!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Restaurant Resilience

Here's a tip for the ever popular Eating Out at Restaurants:

Pick out your meal before you get there. In this day in age, almost every food vendor has an online menu and in the world of the pseudo health nut, they almost all have nutritional info available. So if you're planning a nice evening out, take 10 minutes to look up the menu online & pick out your meal. Most of the time the entree consists of 2-4 servings, so be mindful of such things if they're specified. If it's "one serving" but is 15-20 points, don't fret. When the waiter brings you the dish, ask for a to-go box & portion it out yourself. A 20 point meal, when separated into thirds makes a reasonably pointed dinner. And of course, you've calculated the Pointage ahead of time to know how many of those thirds to eat ;)

Also, eating less at a restaurant sometimes leaves you feeling unsatisfied and that dessert menu looks tempting. Some establishments are now offering those cute little dessert shots, but even those (as small as they are) can add up to 7 or 8 points a pop. Look up the desserts before hand too. That slice of cheesecake might be a 17 point disaster in disguise. Or instead of dessert, get a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet wine to please your palette. 2 points is a lot easier to reason than 10.

Here are a few links to online Nutritional Menus for popular restaurants that I myself have dined at while Weight Watching...

Red Lobster

Romano's Macaroni Grill

California Pizza Kitchen

Noodles & Company

Panera Bread

Happy eating!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let's talk about your Pantry Friends.

Egg Beaters are your friend. The average egg costs 2 points in any oil & butter-free format. Two servings of Egg Beaters, which is about 60 calories & that’s all she wrote, will cost you a whopping 1 point. One serving of Egg Beaters will make you a nice breakfast sandwich, or the perfect serving of scrambled eggs. Coupled with a fat-free American cheese single, 2 slices of Canadian Bacon, & a High Fiber 100 calorie English Muffin with a few squirts of spray butter – you’ve got a Hell of a tasty breakfast.

Speaking of spray butter, it too is your friend. Even the lightest, reduciest fat margarine is going to cost you 3 or more points per serving, which is a tablespoon usually. If you want 5 point toast, then never mind… but if you’re milking your Dailies for all they’re worth, you need to learn to find the loop holes. While spray butter isn’t great for cooking with, it’s 0 Points worth of buttery goodness that can be slathered all over your baked potato!

What kind of snacks do you find yourself craving? Have you found a sensible solution to those TastyCakes or ice cream? My 7 months on Weight Watchers has opened me up to an entire world of foods that I didn’t know existed, & if I did, I didn’t know they would be as good as “the real thing.”

I leave you with this shopping list of ideas to take a bit of the fat out of your pantry!

*Spray butter (I Can’t Believe… & Smart Balance are kid-tested & mother-approved)
*High Fiber English muffins (Thomas’ & Fiber One are great!)
*Canadian Bacon (6-8 slices in a pack, 3 slices per serving = 1 point!)
*Fat Free American Cheese singles (there is a Weight Watchers brand of 1 point cheese, or you can go with fat free for a financially cheaper alternative)
*Hostess 100 Calorie cupcakes (come in packs of 6, with 3 mini cakes per pack. The Strawberry, Chocolate, Lemon, and Coffee Cakes are 1 point a pack.)
*High Fiber sandwich sliced wheat bread (2 points of a sandwich can be the bread alone unless you’re mindful of the Facts… low calorie, high fiber breads are just as delicious and lower in "pointage" so you don’t have to scrimp on the good stuff!)
*Jell-O sugar-free pudding, mousse, and gelatin (1 point for the puddings, 0 for the blob flesh)
More to come later! In the meantime, I'm here to help.

**edited for editing purposes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Garlic Shrimp & Sweet Pea Pasta

I bought some adorable salad shrimp at the grocery store the other day (the pre-cooked, frozen kind) they came in little 4 ounce bags & I've been itching to make something with them. I discovered several months ago that shrimp is fabulously low in fat and calories, & I decided to start cooking with it more often. The following is a recipe I've been making for a few years now, but I've modified it to accommodate my diet.

Another recent discovery was, most especially their Recipe Analysis. I can input almost any recipe (the ingredients portion) and adjust the serving sizes then BAM! it calculates the nutrition facts and the weight of each serving. Having a food scale is imperative, IMO, not just for Weight Watchers but for ANYONE who wants to diet or to just be mindful of their portions.

That being said, here is the recipe for tonight's dinner as well as a link to a great food scale.

                                   Garlic Shrimp & Sweet Pea Pasta

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp white wine
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onions
4 oz shrimp
4 oz whole wheat pasta
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (if desired)
1 tsp kosher salt (for pasta water)

In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt if desired to the water & throw in your wheat pasta of choice. Approx. cooking time 6-8 minutes.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium high heat. When it's rippling, add the onions & cook until translucent. Add red pepper flakes & garlic (careful not to let it burn!) Add shrimp & peas, cook through (allowing any water to evaporate) then add the wine. Allow it to reduce almost completely. Toss in the pasta or serve on top.

Makes two 7 Point servings.

**edited to adjust recipe (cooking process was an experiment in less is more.) 

Hello Blogiverse!

For a while now I have been considering blogging about my adventures on Weight Watchers and all the messy situations I find myself in in the kitchen. I should have started this months ago, having already lost the 25 lbs that had been following me around for 4 years, but now that I'm "maintaining" I'm still having a lot of fun working out new ways to keep things lean in the kitchen and in the world of commercial dining.

My little blog here, I hope, will be a way for me to share my experiences with the world (read: whoever actually reads this) as well as recipes I discover or develop along the way. I would of course be ELATED to have readers share their own experiences and recipes. I mean, we're all in this together, right?

Another thing I might do is share what I've eaten on a given day. Maybe not meal for meal, snack for snack, but when I'm particularly proud of something I managed to get away with. Sometimes just to show new dieters how the tracking process works. Be warned... I will talk about Points and Weight Watchers A LOT.

For now, I leave you with my breakfast.

1 Original Weight Watchers brand bagel
2 tbsp Weight Watchers brand whipped cream cheese

= 3 Points

Happy Monday!

- Pie