Posts Tagged ‘ 2 Points ’

Healthy Cooking: Zucchini and Summer Squash Pasta Medley

Ok, so vegitables aren’t for everyone. Exhibit A is my roommate. He has nothing against them in particular, but won’t go seeking them  out any time soon either. Me, I’m a different story. I LOVE fresh produce in my cooking, but due to expense, time, yadda yadda yadda, I usually limit it to some salad, green peppers, and onion.

Well due to an uncertain dinner schedule this past weekend, I came into my Monday night meal cooking with a little extra weekly produce: green and yellow zucchini, and of course an onion.

Now I know the whole zucchini and summer squash like group of veg isn’t for everyone. To some it’s taste, others texture, and still some simply un-adventurous people. Well dieters, and specifically Weight Watcher’s in particular should take note of these because they’re free (that’s 0 points folks) and can be cooked in any number of ways.

Well, at first I was thinking about grilling these things. It looks great, and tastes better, but laziness, and a lack of balsamic dressing scratched that plan. Instead I decided to create a pasta medley with my ingredients. Here’s how it went:

  • 1 green zucchini sliced (like cucumber), and then quartered to get reasonable chunks
  • 1 yellow zucchini chopped up the same way
  • 1 onion (your pick) sliced into half rings
  • 1 perfect portions chicken breast cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta
  • calorie free butter spray (my cooking crutch)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Seasoning (Italian blend, garlic, pepper, salt, and dill…and more dill)

So clearly my ingredient list wasn’t that awe inspiring, but still it was what I had. So after all the chopping, and prep work, I got my vegis cooking in one pan, chicken in another, and pasta boiling on a back burner. All of these things are pretty easy to cook, and fairly forgiving with their finishing times.

Once the chicken was cooked, I just dumped it in with the zucchini and onions to start those flavors working together. Then the pasta was done so I drained it, and chucked it in with everything else. A couple minutes, and some work with a spatula, and wallah: something edible looking.

Really, not that hard to do, and delicious would be an apt description. Oh did I mention that it made a TON!? It could probably feed two people, but it’s so low in points (2 for chicken, 4 for pasta, and just say 2 for the vegis due to volume), and I needed to get a bit closer to my total for the day, so I ate the lot. I walked away happy, and that’s all there is to it.

A Cool Raspberry Treat

If you haven’t guessed yet, I love dessert. It is one of the best parts of a meal, and one of my biggest weaknesses when trying to be healthy. With that in mind, I am constantly working to come up with new and interesting desserts that satisfy my cravings as well as fit into a weight watcher’s diet.

When it comes to a dessert, I like to try to stay in the two point range. This way, you are still using enough of your points on the nutritious main meal, but at the same time having enough wiggle room to have a tasty treat. Most weight watcher’s products for desserts are about two points as well.
Last night, I decided to stray away from my fast becoming standby of a weight watcher’s ice cream bar. They’re good, but get old after a while. Back to the main point. In my fridge, I had some cups of Jello brand Vanilla Sugar Free Pudding. These little cups are just as tasty as normal pudding, and only one point apiece. In my freezer, I had a bag of frozen raspberries. I thought I was in trouble with these. I mean, I LOVE raspberries, but something so sweet and delicious has to be bad for you right? WRONG!!! Apparently raspberries are very high in fiber, allowing for a whole cup of the things as one point. You could probably even squeeze out a cup and a third and still be at a point.
Well, the next step was to combine these to treats into a yummy raspberry pudding/parfait. It was great, satisfying, and two points. Give it a try as a new and interesting dessert.

Dieting with a Dunk’s Addiction

I am fortunately no longer dependent on caffeine. To my knowledge, I haven’t had a drop all this week. That may seem like something small, and some people may say “pfft, No Problem”, but millions of people are dependent on things like their morning coffee, of lunch soda to get them through the day. Well, the drawback of this addiction is that it usually entails extra calories, and fat throughout the day. Add to that, most people are in a hurry, and rely on places like Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks for their fix. Luckily, Dunk’s has hopped on the healthy bandwagon with some good alternatives.

With their DDSmart menu, Dunkin’ Donuts has taken some of their customers favorites, and given them a healthy twist. This does not mean that every thing on the Smart menu is Weight Watchers safe, but there are some great contenders. Following is a Smart menu to point breakdown:

DD Smart Menu
Drinks:
Small Coffee Coolatta with Skim Milk: 3 Points
Freshly Brewed Unsweetened Iced/Regular Tea: 0 Points
Small Iced/Regular Coffee with Skim Milk: 0 Points
Small Iced/Regular Latte Lite: 2 Points
Food:
Egg White Veggie Flatbread: 6 Points
Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread: 6 Points
Egg & Cheese on English Muffin: 7 Points
Ham, Egg & Cheese on English Muffin: 8 Points
English Muffin: 3 Points
Multigrain Bagel (No Cream Cheese): 8 Points
Reduced Fat Blueberry Muffin: 9 Points

Well, there you have it. The drink menu is fairly safe for the Weight Watcher crowd, but saying the food menu is smart doesn’t mean that it’s not high in points. This is something to look out for in health ad campagns from corporate chains. Some of the items offered may very well be healthy, but something that is healthier doesn’t make it good for you. Exhibit A would be the Blueberry Muffin. Yes, there’s less fat in it than the original, but its still sporting 10g. My personal vice is a Coolatta on the weekends, and the skim milk makes it taste better in my mind. Its always good to check your addictions and see what they’re actually costing you.