Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trivia Night

Joel (my husband) and I play trivia at area restaurants on a pretty regular basis. Tonight it's at Nebraska Brewing Company. There's a league that keeps your scores and has tournaments (I think yearly?). Anyway, we made it into the tournament that will be this Saturday. We just started playing in January so we are thrilled "just to be invited". LOL I will be having a Philly Cheesesteak, which has at least 2,000,000 PointsPlus, but it's just too good to not have. Seriously though, since this restaurant is a "mom and pop" place, I couldn't find nutrition info so I looked up a regular cheesesteak at Philly Connection. It's 12.5 PointsPlus so I'm going with that. They have the second worst fries on the planet so no side dish and I'll drink water (zero PointsPlus).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Here we go again...

I weighed this morning. It was the highest number I've ever seen on a scale. I wish I could say that I've never seen that number before, but it wouldn't be true. I guess seeing THAT NUMBER really shocked me back into reality. I can't "just eat this once" and I can't "just skip this workout". One salad and one workout won't make me healthy just as one cheeseburger and one skipped workout didn't make me fat. It's the continual habits that make me who I am and I'm not happy with the person I am right now. I (once again) reset my weight and measurements on the WW website. I then tracked everything I ate today and even worked out, earning 4 activity points. I will continue and I will blog about it. I've heard that facebook killed the blogger, but I'm hoping my renewed dedication to get healthy will spill over into my blogging habits. Tonight I'm having a Smart Ones Chicken Oriental Dinner (6 PointsPlus) and Arnold Palmer (made w/Splenda - 0 PointsPlus). My total for the day is 1 PointsPlus over my daily PointsPlus Allowance, but we get 49 Bonus Weekly PointsPlus so I'm doing good.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken and Potatoes

Yes, it's been 3 months (and 1 day!) since I posted. Wow... I weighed this morning and am still hovering at the same weight as last May so I did something drastic. I started all over. Yep, I reset my weight on my Weight Watchers Online account so that today is my starting day and starting weight. After I post, I'm going to update my ticker so it will say I've lost 0 pounds. I'm hoping I can finally stick with this. It only takes one time of doing it right to erase all the times of doing it wrong, right?

Chicken and Potatoes

3 c potatoes, chopped
4 chicken leg quarters
1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1 envelope of onion soup/dip mix

Put the potatoes in crockpot. Put the chicken on top. Cover with the soup then sprinkle the soup/dip mix on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

This makes about 8 servings at 5 PointsPlus each. If you eat more, adjust accordingly. I will sometimes eat about 1 1/2 servings, depending on what we are having for side dishes.

Broccoli-Cheddar Casserole

1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 c skim milk
2 t yellow mustard
16 oz frozen broccoli, thawed
1 c fat-free cheddar, shredded
1/3 c dried bread crumbs
2 t butter, melted

Stir soup, milk, mustard, broccoli and cheese in a 9x13 casserole dish sprayed with Pam.

Mix bread crumbs with butter then sprinkle on top of broccoli mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings at 3 PointsPlus each.

I will be serving Pillsbury Grands Biscuit and will have 1. I no longer buy the reduced-fat version of these because although I couldn't tell the difference, my sons said they could and when Weight Watchers re-vamped their points system, they now have the same number of points for either version.

Total PointsPlus for dinner: 13

I hope to "see" y'all tomorrow!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cran-Orange Geleatin Salad

I made this the other night (I think Wednesday?) with Campfire Bundles (previously posted). It was great. The entire family enjoyed it, which is rare.

Cran-Orange Gelatin Salad

15 oz can mandarin oranges
2 pkgs cranberry Jello (3 oz each)
1 1/2 c boiling water
16 oz can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 1/2 c crushed pretzels
6 T butter, melted
5 T sugar, divided
8 oz pkg fat-free cream cheese
8 oz frozen fat-free Cool Whip, thawed

Drain oranges, reserving juice in a 2-cup measuring cup; set aside oranges and juice.

In a large bowl, dissolve the Jello in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce until melted. Add enough cold water to the reserved juice to measure 1 1/2 cups; add to Jello mixture. Stir in oranges. Chill until partially set (this took about 1 hour for me).

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pretzels, butter and 2 T sugar. Press into un-greased 9x13 dish; chill.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over crust. Spoon Jello mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill for at least 3 hours or until set.

Yield: 15 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Notes: As usual, I changed several things from the original recipe. First, it called for sugar-free Jello. I am allergic to Nutrasweet so I used regular Jello. Also, it indicated "salt-free" pretzels. I have had similar recipe to this one made with strawberry Jello and strawberries. I thought it would taste better with the salted pretzels so I used those. Instead of sugar, the original recipe used "sugar substiture equivalent to 5 T sugar". I figured it's only 5 PointsPlus for REAL sugar so I used that (divided by 15 servings, it didn't matter). I also used fat-free Cool Whip instead of reduced-fat Cool Whip because my store doesn't carry the reduced-fat. Using the original ingredients will change the PointsPlus value (pretty sure it will be lower). This is another recipe I got from "Light & Tasty" magazine (now called "Healthy Cooking by Taste of Home").

This morning I made:

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 c Oats (quick or old-fashioned), uncooked
1 1/4c all-purpose flour
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c skim milk
3 T canola oil
1 egg white

1/4 c Oats (quick or old-fasioned), uncooked
1 T firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 t cinnamon
1 t butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups OR lightly grease bottoms only. Combine dry ingredients; mix well. Add combined applesauce, milk, oil and egg white; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill muffin cups almost full. For topping, combine all ingredients; sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Let muffins stand a few minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm.

Yield: 12 muffins at 5 PointsPlus per muffin.

Notes: The original recipe called for vegetable oil. I don't buy that and had canola oil on-hand so I used that. Also, it said to use margarine for the topping. I used butter instead.

These were a HUGE hit with my family! Will be making this regularly. Yum!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Popover Apple Pie

Last night we had Campfire Bundles (previously posted) and:

Popover Apple Pie

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
3/4 c skim milk
1 c cold orange juice
1 pkg (3 oz) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
3/4 t allspice
6 large peeled tart apples, sliced
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 t powdered sugar

In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Combine the eggs, egg whites and milk; whisk into the dry ingredients just until blended. Pour into a 10" ovenproof skillet coated with butter-flavored Pam. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 (do not open oven door). Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until deep golden brown (do not underbake).

In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk the orange juice, pudding mix and apple pie spice. Stir in apples and cranberries. Cover and microwave on high about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 1/2 minutes or until apples are tender. Spoon hot apple mixture into crust. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Notes: The original recipe (from "Light & Tasty" magazine, now named "Healthy Cooking") called for 1% milk, but we only buy skim milk so I used that. The crust turned out fine. Also, it said to use sugar-free pudding mix. I'm allergic to Nutrasweet so I used regular. And it said to sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped walnuts on it right before adding the powdered sugar. I'm allergic to nuts so I skipped that. Your PointsPlus value will likely change, but not sure which way since some changes I made would increase it and some made would decrease it.

Talk about your mixed reactions. As soon as my husband took a bite, he said, "you don't have to make this again". Yikes! I tried it anyway. I loved it! One of my sons said it was too "egg-y" and the other said he would have left out the dried cranberries, but they both said they like it anyway. I'm probably not gonna fix it again just because nobody said the same thing, but I did like it.

Tonight is Taco Salad Night. I am also fixing Cran-Orange Gelatin Salad. It looks fantastic so I hope I have good reviews tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chicken Pasta Primavera

I got this recipe from "Light & Tasty" magazine (it's since changed it's name to "Healthy Cooking"), but I changed it a bit.

Chicken Pasta Primavera

10 oz uncooked spaghetti
1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
6 oz light sour cream
1 c water
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
10 oz pkg frozen broccoli, thawed
10 oz pkg frozen carrot slices, thawed
4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
5 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, combine the soup, water, lemon juice, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in vegetables; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in chicken; heat through. Drain spaghetti; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 8 servings at 7 PointsPlus per serving.

The original recipe used a 16 oz pkg of "California-blend vegetables". I do not like cauliflower so I bought broccoli and carrots then instead of using partial packages, I added a few things. The original recipe also didn't include the light sour cream, but I didn't want to use a partial can of soup. Also, I added more of each of the other ingredients to come up with what I thought was a good ratio. It turned out fantastic. Even the boys ate it, although Adam did pick out the broccoli, and our 3 year old Granddaughter even ate it. Have added this to my favorites.

I've not totally been ignoring my blog, but lately I've been fixing a lot of re-runs so not much new to post about. I have several new recipes coming up, but tonight our dinner is a re-runs (Campfire Bundles). I will be posting about the dessert I'm fixing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bacon Hash Brown Bake

I think I'm back into my routine enough that I ought to be able to start posting regularly again.

Bacon Hash Brown Bake

8 slices Oscar Mayer Ready-to-Serve Bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 c frozen hash browns
12 oz pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
8 eggs
1 c fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 t salt
1 c shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add hash browns and cook for 2 minutes; turn over and cook another 2 minutes. Add vegetables and cook 3-4 minutes. Transfer to 9x13 baking dish sprayed with Pam. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt. Stir in cheese and bacon pieces. Pour evenly over potato mixture.

Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Tip: To save time, prepare this casserole ahead of time, except for baking. Store covered in refrigerator up to 24 hours.

Yield: 9 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Note: original recipe used turkey bacon. My kids don't like turkey bacon so I switched to regular. Also, the original used regular cheese, but I switched to fat-free. It also called for "1 cup" chopped onion and red bell pepper, but I used a whole medium one of each.

My family LOVED this. Even the boys ate it, except they picked out the red bell pepper. I thought about substituting Egg Beaters for the eggs, but went ahead and used regular eggs. That change would have lowered the PointsPlus value by 1 1/2 per serving.

After an almost "mutiny" by my sons, I am going to cook "regular" (their words, not mine! LOL) for the next 2 weeks. I'll still be attempting to cut PointsPlus in areas they hopefully won't notice. As an example, tonight we are having meatloaf, but I'm using venison (as lean as 96% ground beef). Another night we are having a casserole that uses a can of cream of chicken soup. I will use the 98% fat-free version. I'll write about my results.