Archive for the ‘ Weight Watchers ’ Category

Recipe: Soda Roasted Root Vegetables

So, it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve had a recipe up heer, much less a healthy one. Well I have been off experimenting in the kitchen, and here is one of the results: Roasted Root Vegetables using soda! More specifically with root beer.

Now before you freak out, it’s not that horrifying. Cooking with diet root beer imparts an extra sweetness when roasted with vegetables I’ve found. In this rendition I used sweet potato, onion, and carrots with some salt, pepper, and garlic for seasoning. Oh yeah, and the root beer.

Now I roasted this for about 35 minutes, and found that I could have actually probably gone for 45 minutes (but I was hungry). The result was the always pleasant taste of roasted vegetables, but the root beer made it special. It gave it a caramelized taste that you really usually can’t get without butter. Using diet soda really is a great way to add sweetness to a recipe when you are trying to keep it healthy as well.

Well, as random as this post is (I’m feeling off my game as of late), give this kind of cooking a try. What else could you cook with diet soda?

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Attempted: Two Ingredient Brownies

I know, I say brownies, and then I show a  picture of truffles. I’m a horribly confusing person I know. Still, there is a connection here! This Halloween weekend, like most 20-something adults, I decided to throw a small, spooky shindig. As such, food was in order, so I decided to get creative and adapt this interesting brownie recipe into something to serve to my friends…

So, this is actually a  recipe post for my version of 3G brownies. With my odd fascination with pumpkin, and creative cooking, the idea of simply mixing a chocolate cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree was pretty enticing, especially with everything else I needed to do to get ready for a party. Oh yeah, here is the recipe form if you want to get professional:

Two Ingredient Brownies:

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. Mix cake mix and puree
  2. Put in pan
  3. Bake according to box directions

Yeah…it really is just that easy… I did try and mix this up a little. In an attempt to be classy, I actually baked these in a muffin tin, and put Lindt White chocolate truffles in the center in my attempt to create “Monster Eyes”. Yeah, it failed. The truffles browned in the heat of the oven, and caved in on themselves creating something that didn’t really…look..like..anything…Still, the flavor combination was spot on.

The pumpkin and dark chocolate really make to form a velvety cake texture. Yes, that means these really weren’t brownies, more like very silky cupcakes. Still, they were enjoyed by all, and the pairing of the white chocolate added the sweetness that was needed to make these truly a dessert item. My goal is to try them again with Ghirardelli white chocolate chips next time to more evenly spread the sweetness, and not waste Lindt truffles.

The best part of these though has nothing to do with their simplicity or their flavor. I got my friend who loathes pumpkin (or at least thinks he does) to eat one, and say that they were awesome before telling him halfway through a mouthful that 50% of what he had just crammed into his mouth was pumpkin. He wasn’t thrilled, but the rest of us sure got a good laugh. Just goes to show you that it’s always good to try new things, and expand your horizons…or ask what something is made of before eating it.

Oh, last note on the nutrition of these things. It’s just a guess, but I think we’re talking somewhere in the vicinity of 200 calories a muffin without the truffles in them. No point value as of now as I wasn’t aiming for health food on Halloween.

Blast from the Past: SpaghettiO’s

Oh the foods of our youth. Growing up, one of those was Spaghetti-O’s, a staple of the daycare I went to as a young-un. Well, recently, Campbell’s latest marketing campaign has been about not telling kids that the pasta rings in tomato goop is actually good for them. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t check this out right?

Well, cue a trip to my grocery store with my trusty Weight Watcher’s slide rule, and me hunching down in the aisle as mom’s shovel the cans into carriages for a look-see.

Looking into it, each can has 2 servings, but I combined the nutrition as I polish off a can myself. For sheer points, I looked at a can of the “Plus Calcium” because why not? More calcium? Sure! Nutritionally we’re talking 340 calories, 2g of fat, and 6 g of fiber per can giving us a point value of 6. Not too bad at all for a 66 cent price point.

What’s more amazing is what else these can’s have to offer. With my workout, I’m always looking to add more protein to my diet. These cans are packing a whopping 12 g per pop, not to mention 60% of my daily calcium, and 50% of vitamin D as well as other basic vitamins and minerals. This stuff is good…for you.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit it folks, as an adult, Spaghetti-O’s have become my staple go-to quick meal when I don’t have much time to cook dinner. I serve them up with a chopped up 98% Fat Free turkey dog, and some green beans and I am good to go. Freakishly nutritious, and childishly delicious. Hey, whatever works right?

Review: Smart Ones Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach

So, those of us in the diet world are all to aware of what waits for us in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Moving past the temptation that is the ice cream, and dessert section, we fall upon the frozen foods. Here we can focus on our three pillars: Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice (I’m sure there are other options, but these are what stare me in the face).

Over my years of dieting, I have learned one main rule of diet frozen food: sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is very very bad, and it has nothing to do with what the “intended” meal was. It’s just the way it goes, as some things lend themselves more easily to diet-ising. Some of my favorites are the Simple mac and cheese, or pasta with meat sauce. Salisbury steak is to be avoided at all costs. And still, that’s just my preference.

Anyways, Sunday night saw me trying to end the weekend on a positive note, so I was looking for cheap, easy, and healthy. Hello Smart Ones. Well, I say the “new” flavor, and said why not. It’s hard to go wrong with pasta and cheese.  Talk about luck, we have a winner folks.

This new frozen meal is awesome. The pasta in it was made up of hardy ribbons that oozed the surprisingly tasty and filling white cheese sauce. I mean, the stuff had substance. The pasta was weighty, and didn’t turn to mush in my mouth. The ricotta cheese sauce was actually thick, and flavorful without being a paste. If I hadn’t microwaved this, it might have been homemade for all I knew. I’m just saying this folks, for 5 points, you can’t go wrong here.

I will be buying this again, and keeping it as a staple in my freezer. You should do the same. It’s not a compromise, this stuff is a treat.

Lean Pockets Chart Pr0n

So, for some reason I’ve been on a kick of researching different product groups, and building charts out of them so I can find point values easily. It’s only fair that I pass on my “research” to you, the dieting and curious masses. Without further ado, here’s a break-down of the points and nutrition for Lean Pockets.

Oh, and sadly I could not do the same with the other Hot Pocket products as I can’t find their nutrition information published on the company’s website. Oh Well.



Per Serving Per Pkg
Flavor Calories Fat Fiber Points Points
Breakfast – Applewood Bacon, Egg & Cheese 290 8 2 6 12
Breakfast – Ham, Egg & Cheese 270 7 1 6 12
Breakfast – Sausage, Egg & Cheese 280 8 2 6 12
Breakfast Quesadilla – Southwest Style Turkey Sausage, Egg & Cheese 250 8 1 5 11
Cheeseburger 290 9 2 6 12
Chicken Parmesan 290 7 3 6 12
Culinary Creations – Chicken Bacon Dijon 270 8 3 5 11
Culinary Creations – Chipotle Chicken 260 7 4 5 11
Culinary Creations – Garlic Chicken White Pizza 270 8 3 5 11
Culinary Creations – Grilled Chicken, Mushroom & Spinach 240 6 3 5 10
Culinary Creations – Spinach Artichoke Chicken 240 6 3 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Chicken, Broccoli & Cheddar 250 7 4 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Ham & Cheddar 270 8 3 5 11
Made with Whole Grain – Meatballs & Mozzarella 240 7 4 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Three Cheese & Broccoli 240 6 4 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Turkey & Ham with Cheese 260 8 3 5 11
Made with Whole Grain – Turkey, Broccoli & Cheese 260 8 4 5 11
Made with Whole Grain Pizzeria – Supreme Pizza 220 6 4 4 9
Meatballs and Mozerella 290 9 3 6 12
Mexican Style – Chicken & Cheese 260 8 2 5 11
Mexican Style – Chicken Fiesta 240 7 3 5 10
Pepperoni Pizza 290 8 2 6 12
Philly Steak & Cheese 270 8 2 6 11
Pizzeria – Four Cheese Pizza 270 5 2 5 11
Pizzeria – Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza 280 8 2 6 12
Seasoned Crust Pizzeria – Grilled Chicken Mediterranean 330 7 3 7 7
Soft Baked SUBS – Italian Style Meatballs 250 7 3 5 10
Soft Baked SUBS – Pepperoni with Red Peppers 250 7 2 5 10
Soft Baked SUBS – Philly Steak & Cheese Made with Chicken 240 6 1 5 10
Stuffed Quesadilla – Grilled Chicken & Three Cheese 360 8 2 7 7
Stuffed Quesadilla – Grilled Chicken Fajita 350 8 2 7 7

Frozen Yogurt Chart Pr0n

So, a while back I did something that was useful to myself as well as the other weight watchers out there with a taste for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and made a chart with all of the point values for the tasty pints. Chart’s are a great way to see the point values for items, so I’ve returned to do it again. This chart maps out the point values for the healthy ice cream alternative that I’ve mentioned before: Stonyfield Farms Organic Frozen Yogurt. The list has fat free at the top, and low fat frozen yogurts at the bottom in blue. Remember folks, ice cream is never out of season, enjoy!

Per Serving Per Pint
Flavor Calories Fat Fiber Points Points
Gotta Have Vanilla 100 0 0 2 8
After Dark Chocolate 100 0 0 2 8
Vanilla Fudge Swirl 120 0 0 2 10
Gotta Have Java 100 0 0 2 8
Strawberry-licious 100 0 0 2 8
Crème Caramel 130 1.5 0 3 11
Minty Chocolate Chip 140 2.5 1 3 11
Cookies ‘n Cream 130 2 0 3 11

A Decent Snack: Dried Apple Slices

So, I occasionally find myself in need of something to munch on. This is usually on my off diet days, and without thinking I often reach for things like candy or junk food in addition to the bad stuff I eat with meals. Well, I have recently tried to balance myself out, and to do that, I grabbed a treat that I love to eat all the time, and is good for me as well.

During the week, I’m always eating apples. As a morning snack, I munch a fresh apple. With my lunch, there’s usually a thing of unsweetened applesauce (it really is better without the sugar). Sometimes, I even fall back on my grilled apple recipe for dessert.

Well, this time around, I caught myself buying a Ritter Sport bar, and instead bought a healthy alternative while in Walmart: a bag of dried apples. Now, these things aren’t the dehydrated apples that you may find in other places. These are more akin to a dried apricot, being kind of moist, but at the same time not your standard apple. I guess in a snack world, I’d say that they were more like a fruit snack in texture.

What’s important to me is that they serve several purposes. First of all, they are sweet. I mean, they’re apples after all. Second, they are filling. These are dried, and expand when they hit your stomach. Third, they satisfy that craving I get for gummies sometimes. Oh, and fourth, they are only 1 point a serving with three servings in a bag. The bad news is that the bag will run you around two dollars, but you could do worse as I can easily get three separate servings out of this.

So, if you’re looking for a fat free snack that’s better then your average chewy gummy, give these dried apples a try. You’ll be eating them like candy.