Saturday, August 19, 2017

6 Ways to Avoid Crochet Pain




I'm not sure about you, but if I go on an all day crochet marathon, my hands stage a revolt!  Not to mention the large knot that forms between my left shoulder blade and spine.  Some might say it's time to take it easy, and they'd be right.  But that doesn't mean I can't crochet anymore.  I just have to do a few things to keep everything healthy.

Here's a list of six things you (and I) can do to keep on crocheting!

1.  Pace yourself.  Do not crochet all day every day.  Just like anything else, take periodic breaks and do something different with your muscles.  Crochet is a sedentary sport, so get off your hiney and move a little.

2.  Stretch every now and then.

3.  Massage your knots and sore muscles.  I get knots in my forearms.  A simple massage with the other hand really helps.  For knots in my back or a sore neck I call on my husband or use my handheld massager.  This really helps, but be cautious not to go overboard!

4.  Posture is key!  Check how you're sitting and see if you can improve.  Can you add a pillow behind your neck, under your arm?  If you have your elbow propped up it can really help with fatigue.

5.  Prioritize your activities.  When I spend hours on the computer, I can't crochet as long.  Or if I color in my coloring book for hours, I am not able to crochet much at all.  Any activity that involves fine motor skill is going to affect your crochet game.

6.  Take your vitamins and supplements.  This might sound like a strange thing but taking vitamins and supplements can help your joint health, which will make crocheting less painful and more enjoyable.  Deficiencies can lead to pain and that can cause more trouble with crochet.  Do a Google search and see what you come up with.  I find all my joints feel the best when I take turmeric.  I also take D, fish oil and a multivitamin.


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Multicolor Scrap Blanket
Simple Crochet Beanie







Wednesday, August 9, 2017

30 Days 30 Recipes Wrap-Up

Spaghetti Salad
Deli Crab Salad














So, my 30 days have come and gone.  There were some good recipes and some bad recipes.  And I'll be honest, there were some good days and some bad days.  With all that I have going on in my life (don't we all!!), I wanted to quit the challenge on more than one occasion.  Yet, it was important to me to persevere, however small a goal it seemed.  I think holding through to the end taught me some important lessons.

One lesson I learned was that even when life is crazy, people still want to eat good food.  Resorting to take-out or chicken nuggets every now and then is no big deal.  But, using those things as staples is not ideal.  Having this challenge ahead of me urged me to serve a variety of food to my family and I think they, for the most part, really enjoyed it.

I also learned that I'm glad I have stuck to the old Weight Watchers FlexPoint plan.  The newer plans restrict your choices by giving "naughty foods" insanely high point values.  With smart points, sugar is "punished" so harshly that it limits some of my favorite things much more than I would like.  That's not a recipe for success in my book!  And besides, I'm doing just fine with the old plan.










Another lesson I learned was not even food related.  It was that follow through is so incredibly rewarding.  At the time of this writing I have two blog followers and a handful of other people who stop by to read.  This was for them.  But it was totally also for me!  I proved that I could do it!  I issued myself a challenge and I completed it.  I've never been one to win the gold medal or first prize trophy.  In high school and college, my coaches were always telling me to reach for my personal best.  That seemed a little silly to me, but I get it.  If I can strive to meet the goals I set for myself while also having grace for my failures, I can become a better version of me.  And this simple recipe challenge helped me do that.  I set a goal and I did it.

Not only did I learn a few lessons, I also got some really great recipes.  I will definitely be adding a good number of these to my regular menu.  The Taco Soup was great.  The simple Deli Crab Salad was far better than I expected.  The Herb-Roasted Green Beans were amazing.  And I never thought I'd enjoy a Pumpkin Butter as much as I did.

I won't list them all now because you can read my reviews by clicking the links, but trust me when I say they were mostly good. 

Either way, I hope you enjoyed this challenge as much as I did.  And I hope it inspires you to challenge yourself to try something you think might be too big or too much for this moment of your busy life.  I bet you can do more than you think.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here often and in especially in October for another blog challenge!!



Easy Tuna Casserole
Taco Soup
Pumpkin Butter















Cauliflower Medley
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Parmesan Chicken Cutlets














Here are all of the recipes I reviewed.  You can click the links from the list, or the links under the pictures in this post.  

30 Days 30 Recipes

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Faux Egg McMuffin - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 30




Sometimes it's the simple things.

You know, I would have never thought to write a recipe for an egg sandwich.  It's something I make all the time.  I've even made them just as this recipe suggests, so I already knew what to expect....yummy goodness.

I'm not a sweet-eater in the morning.  I prefer eggs, or even leftovers from last night's supper.  So this recipe is a great option for quick and easy morning fare.

I view this recipe as more inspiration than pure instruction.  You can take your own angle on it.  Use Swiss or American cheese.  Use ham or turkey bacon or nothing.  It doesn't matter.  It's all delicious!

On that note, I hope you enjoy this last recipe review in the 30 Days 30 Recipes Challenge!



Find this recipe on page 24: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.

Taste Score - 10
Ease of Preparation Score - 10



Faux Egg McMuffin

Ingredients:

1 english muffin
1/4 cup egg beaters
1 slice 2% cheese
1 slice Canadian bacon (optional)

Place an english muffin in the toaster.  Spray a large mug with nonstick spray.  Place Canadian bacon on bottom of mug.  Pour 1/4 cup of egg beaters on top of bacon and microwave 1-1.5 minutes.  Remove from microwave and add cheese.  Once english muffin is toasted, remove and scoop egg, bacon and cheese onto muffin.

Voila!  Egg McMuffin a la home!


Nutrition Information
Serves 1
1 serving =
253 calories
5 grams fat
28 grams carb
2 grams fiber 23 grams protein


Weight Watchers POINTS - 5
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 6
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 7

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30 Days 30 Recipes



Monday, August 7, 2017

Zucchini Sticks - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 29




This recipe is a keeper.  While I don't think the flavor profile is quite perfect, it was a great way to serve zucchini.  Sometimes when it comes to this summer vegetable, I resort to the same old same old.  These zucchini sticks mixed it up just enough.  I ate almost the entire recipe myself for lunch if that says anything!  I do think that I would swap out the chili powder and use paprika like I did in the Parmesan Chicken Cutlets.  I also would probably just coat them in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and not the egg.  Just my two cents.  Those small changes would probably make these just perfect.


The original recipe can be found on page : 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score - 8
Ease of Preparation Score  -8


Zucchini Sticks

Ingredients:

1 zucchini
3 tablespoons Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 egg white
a few shakes of  chili powder
a few shakes of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Cut zucchini into sticks.  Coat with egg white.  Shake salt, pepper and chili powder onto zucchini.  Stir well.  Put bread crumbs in a baggie.  Put zucchini sticks in baggie, a few at a time and coat with bread crumbs.  Lay flat on baking sheet and sprinkle with parmesan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Broil for two minute to make crispy.



Nutrition Information:
Serves 2
1 serving =
105 calories
3 grams fat
11 grams carb
2 grams fiber
8 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 2
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 2
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 3


All nutrition information is approximate and calculated using caloriecount.com.


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30 Days 30 Recipes

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Garlic Mashed Potatoes - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 28




This recipe said to add the garlic right into the pot with the potatoes.  I would never have thought to boil it that way, but it really did make a difference.  I would add salt to the water next time, but that's probably the only change.  For the low amount of fat in this recipe, there is definitely a lot of flavor.

I served these potatoes with the recipe I reviewed just yesterday, Hamburger Stroganoff.  I took liberty with that recipe, but this one I left mostly unaltered.  The original recipe did recommend using a mixer, but I saw no need.  A few lumps are just fine with me!

Try it out and see if you like it.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Find the original recipe on page 3: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score - 8
Ease of Preparation Score - 8


Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tablespoon reduced calorie margarine
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes and garlic in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.  Mash then add remaining ingredients.

Nutrition Information
Serves 4
1 serving =
184 calories
2 grams fat
39 grams carb
5 grams fiber
5 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 3
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 5
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 6

Nutrition information is approximate and calculated using caloriecount.com.

You might also like:
30 Days 30 Recipes

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hamburger Stroganoff - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 27



Ok, so I concede that the title of this recipe is a bit deceiving considering I used ground turkey.  We had already had the Taco Soup earlier in the week, and that was great.  I like to limit our beef intake, however, so this one got poultry.

But the real question is, did this recipe measure up?  For sure.  It's a good one.  I would make it again, but maybe try my own "cream of" soup mix like I mentioned in an earlier post.  I say, give this one a try if you're looking for a simple supper that most anyone would like.


Find the original recipe on page 6: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes

Taste Score - 8
Ease of Preparation Score - 9


Hamburger Stroganoff

Ingredients:

8 ounces lean ground beef (ground turkey is great, too!)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups cooked egg noodles* (or skip and serve over potatoes) 
10.75 ounce can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 can sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef, and onion. Drain fat.  Stir in cooked noodles, soup, mushrooms, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.  Serve on top of mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

*I took liberty and used mashed potatoes!  The nutrition information reflects the original recipe, however.

Nutrition Information:
Serves 4
1 serving =
280 calories
9 grams fat
26 grams carb
2 grams fiber
23 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 6
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 7
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 8

All nutrition information is approximate and is calculated using caloriecount.com.

You might also like:
30 Days 30 Recipes

Friday, August 4, 2017

Deli Crab Salad - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 26




Day 26?  Really?  It somehow feels like I've just started this challenge and simultaneously have been doing it forever.  It's weird.

Today's recipe is a crab salad that, like the pasta salad, I was reluctant to try.  I'm so glad I did, though.  It is very tasty and I definitely want to make it again.  Initially I thought the addition of mustard to a seafood salad would be weird.  Boy was I wrong!  It totally made the flavor perfect.

If you are a seafood lover and want to mix it up, give this salad a go.  I liked it and I hope you will too!


Original recipe found on page 2: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.

Taste Score - 8
Ease of Preparation Score - 10


Seafood Salad

Ingredients:

6 ounces imitation crab meat
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
green onions (I used 2)
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 to 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
onion powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked macaroni noodles, cold

Chop crab meat and green onions.  Mix.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Chill and serve.

Nutrition Information:
Serves 2
1 serving =
324 calories
6 grams fat
53 grams carb
2 grams fiber
13 grams protein


Weight Watchers POINTS - 7
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 8
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 10

Nutrition information is approximate and is calculated using caloriecount.com.




Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spaghetti Salad - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 25




It's getting close to the end of the challenge and it's a little hard to choose what to make.  To be honest, when I decided to make this recipe I didn't have high hopes.  It was just another pasta salad.  It didn't seem like anything special.  But...I wanted to follow through and make 30 recipes, so I decided just to give it a go.

I'm glad I did.

This recipe was a nice twist on your average Italian dressing-based pasta salad.  The Rotel tomatoes added just enough zip to make it unique.  I'm quite sure I'll make it again.  It was easy and tasty, my favorite combination!

Go ahead and give this recipe a try.  I know you won't be disappointed.


You can find the original recipe found on page 32: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.

Taste Score - 8
Ease of Preparation Score - 9


Spaghetti Salad

Ingredients:

8 ounces think spaghetti, cooked
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 small can sliced olives (I used 1/2 can of regular and slice them myself)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fat free Italian salad dressing

Mix all ingredients together.  Chill and serve.







Nutrition Information:
Serves 5
1 serving =
167 calories
2 grams fat
32 grams carb
1.5 grams fiber
6 grams protein

Weight Watcher POINTS - 3
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 4
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 5


Nutrition information is approximate and is calculated using caloriecount.com.

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30 Days 30 Recipes

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Taco Soup - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 24



This recipe was so easy to prepare!  After browning the onions and beef the only thing I had to do was open and dump cans and packages.  And as easy as it was, it tasted great!  I highly recommend trying this soup if you like tacos or chili.  In fact, I think Taco Chili would be a more apt name, as it is hardly soupy.

The only negative feedback I got on this one was that it was a little spicy.  My husband is not a spice fan.  He did say, though, that the flavor, including the aftertaste, was very nice.  I thought the flavor profile was perfect, but if you want to tone down the spice factor, swap out the chili beans and just use your favorite unseasoned bean instead.


Original Recipe can be found on page 33: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score - 10
Ease of Preparation Score - 10



Taco Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can chili beans, NOT drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes, NOT drained
1 can stewed tomatoes, NOT drained

Brown beef and onion.  Drain fat.  Add remaining ingredients and heat through.


Nutrition information:
Serves 8
1 serving =
247 calories
7 grams fat
24 grams carb
7 grams fiber
25 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 5
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 6
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 6

All nutrition information is approximate and is calculated using caloriecount.com.


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30 Days 30 Recipes




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Herb-Roasted Green Beans - 30 Days 30 Recipes Day 23





I usually don't spring for fresh green beans when frozen will do just fine.  Frozen are less than half the price and they actually have more nutrients than fresh green beans that have been sitting on the shelf a while.  That said, I got the fresh ones this time.  I wanted them to roast nicely without any sogginess.

And roast nicely they did!  These green beans were amazing!  It cost me over five dollars just to make this side dish, but I don't even care.  I will definitely be making these again.  They were so good.  Everyone liked them.

If you have a picky eater in the house, try roasting some veggies.  They aren't pretty, but if your picky eater can get past the look they will be pleasantly surprised.

Make these!



Recipe can be found on page 34: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score -10
Ease of Preparation Score -9



Herb Roasted Green Beans

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 packet Good Season's dry Italian Dressing mix
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Snap ends off green beans and place in a large bowl.  Sprinkle on olive oil, dressing mix and cheese.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.

*The original recipe said to blanch, but I intentionally did not.  I know from experience that roasting vegetables cooks them up very nicely.  The blanching seemed unnecessary.

Nutrition Information
Serves 4
1 serving =
103 calories
3 grams fat
16 grams carb
7 grams fiber
6 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 1
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 1
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 1

*to calculate points I removed green beans from the recipe calculator, as green beans are free on all three plans.

All nutrition information is approximate and is calculated using caloriecount.com.


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30 Days 30 Recipes

Monday, July 31, 2017

Easy Tuna Casserole - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 22





This recipe was so easy to prepare.  I made it when I was in the middle of doing a million other things to get ready for my son's birthday party.   So even when you're pressed for time, this tuna casserole could be a good option.

As far as taste goes, it's decent.  My husband doesn't like peas, so I typically omit those.  I wanted to make the recipe as stated, however, so I chose to add them. He wasn't thrilled, but he was quite hungry so he just ate it. Also, he did really enjoy the onions.  We didn't all sit down together like we usually do, so the kids didn't try this one.

Will I make this easy casserole again?  Sure.  It didn't make me jump for joy, but it's a decent go to that's really easy to throw together.  My husband suggested subbing in green beans and omitting the peas.  That might work.

One last thing: like the other meals I have tried with cream of mushroom soup, I'd like to try making my own.  Here's one I'm planning on trying.


Find the original recipe on page 15: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score: 6/7
Ease of Preparation Score: 10


Easy Tuna Casserole

Ingredients:

1 can tuna in water, drained (I used a pouch)
1 cup macaroni noodles, uncooked
1 can peas, drained (I used equivalent frozen peas)
1 onion, chopped
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup skim milk
6 tablespoons reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl being sure to cover macaroni noodles.  Spray an 8x8 baking dish.  Transfer mixture to baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake* for one hour.

*Original recipe says to cover, but I did not and enjoyed the crunchiness of the edges.


Nutrition Information
Serves 4:
1 serving =
236 calories
3 grams fat
31 grams carb
3 grams fiber
19 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 4
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 6
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 7

Nutrition Information is approximate and is calculate using caloriecount.com.


You might also like:
30 Days 30 Recipes

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Pumpkin Butter - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 21




Ok, I guess I'm on a pumpkin kick.  And my family is still not a fan of it!  My first impression was that this recipe was going to be WAY too sweet.  Then I put it on an english muffin and had a bite. It's delicious!  I can imagine it being good on a fresh homemade roll or maybe a biscuit.

I had to use canned pumpkin because pumpkins are not in season right now.  Besides, it's so much easier and there are no added ingredients in the can, just pumpkin.

Lastly, the amount of sugar seemed high to me for a "diet recipe", but in light of the small serving size the amount was just right.  I will probably be eating this pumpkin butter for a while because I'll be the only one eating it, but that's OK.  It's so tasty!  This recipe was very easy and made me long for the days of autumn.

Find the original recipe on page 27: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.

Taste Score - 10
Ease of Preparation Score - 10


Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cups fresh pumpkin (I used 1 can)
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
dash salt

Cook pumpkin until tender, drain off liquid and mash.*  Add remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium heat until desired consistency is reached.  This may be canned or kept in the refrigerator for several weeks.

*Skip this step if you are using canned pumpkin and simply mix all ingredients together.

Nutrition Information:
Serves Approximately 32 (about 1 tablespoon)
21 calories
0 grams fat
5 grams carb
0 grams fiber
0 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 0
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 1
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 1


Nutrition information is approximate and is calculated using caloriecount.com.

You might also like:
30 Days 30 Recipes

What We Ate For Supper This Week



Sunday - Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff, spinach, rice or Shirataki rice

Monday - leftovers, chicken nuggets

Tuesday - Pasta (I had shirataki rice), red sauce and sausages, cake for dessert.

Wednesday - Pizza and subs

Thursday - turkey meatloaf, corn, pasta salad

Friday - burgers, hot dogs, fruit, baked beans, etc. at friends' house

Saturday - Easy Tuna Casserole, salad

Easy Tuna Casserole
Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pumpkin "Pie" - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 20




This recipe is certainly a keeper.  I am pretty sure that over three or four days I ate this entire recipe by myself.  My husband isn't a fan of pumpkin and my son didn't try this one.  My daughter tried it and she said she didn't like it.  I'm not sure I believe her!  Anyway, in this case, I am not taking my family's opinions into consideration.  They are not pumpkin pie lovers!  If you like pumpkin pie and are looking for a lower calorie alternative, this is definitely the recipe to make!

In the future the only tweaks I would make would be to try this one out with a different sweetener.  I've made one similar to this with granulated Stevia in the Raw and it was not good.  Too much stevia can really make things bitter.  I may give it a whirl with liquid stevia, which tends to be less bitter, or even monk fruit extract.  I'll let you down if I do that.  Splenda is just fine with me, but I do like to mix up my sweeteners just to keep all things in moderation, as they say!


Find this recipe on page 4: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score - 9 (just because it's not actual pumpkin pie)
Ease of Preparation Score - 9



Pumpkin "Pie"

Ingredients:

1 15 ounce can pumpkin
5 ounces evaporated milk
3/4 cup Splenda granulated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a deep dish pie plate with nonstick spray.  Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Pour into pie plate and bake 35 minutes or until set.

Nutrition Information:
Serves 8
1 serving =
58 calories
3 grams fat
6 grams carb
1.5 grams fiber
3 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 1
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 2
Weight Watcher Smart Points - 2

All nutrition information is approximate and is calculated at caloriecount.com.


You might also like:
30 Days 30 Recipes

Friday, July 28, 2017

Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 19




This recipe was definitely quick and easy to prepare.  It paired nicely with spinach.  My family ate it with white rice, but I made shirataki rice for myself for a no calorie option.  This meal, while not my favorite, is a good go-to dinner if you have to throw something in the crockpot in the morning.  It's tasty and goes well with most vegetables or starches.  It's simple and I think most people would enjoy it.  It's very similar to most meals made with condensed cream of mushroom soup.  That's not a bad thing, just something to note.

So would I make it again?  Probably. Next time I might look into making my own "cream of" substitute and try it with that.  I've done it in the past, but lost track of the recipe.  Here's a link for one that looks pretty convenient.  I'll let you know if I try it!


Find the original recipe on page 11: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score: 7
Ease of Preparation Score: 10



Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff

Ingredients:

6 boneless chicken breast halves
1 can Healthy Request low fat cream of mushroom soup
16 ounces light sour cream*
1 envelope onion soup mix

Put frozen chicken breasts on bottom of crockpot.  Mix other ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken.  Cook on low 7 hours.  Serve over rice or noodles.


*I used light sour cream, but the original recipe called for fat free.  If you use fat free, it brings the POINT value to 4, Points Plus to 5, and Smart Points to 4.  I was using what I had on hand, but in the future I might use the fat free to save calories.


Nutrition Information:
Serves 6
One serving =
285 calories
19 grams fat
6 grams carb
0 grams fiber
23 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 7
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 8
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 8


You might also like:
30 Days 30 Recipes

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Peach Cobbler - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 18




Ahh, peach cobbler.  One of my all time favorites.  Did this recipe live up to my expectations?

The answer is simple: no.

First, the recipe was not clear.  I was unsure if I should drain the peaches, so I didn't.  I looked up a few other recipes online and they kept the peaches in their syrup, so I figured I'd keep them in their juice.  The batter was very soupy,  and I was not sure it would bake up quite right.

It ended up baking just fine.  Upon tasting, however, the second problem arose.  This supposed peach cobbler tasted like most recipes that don't add any fat: spongy and bland.  I was actually embarrassed that I brought it to share with friends after I tasted it.  I will not be making this recipe again.  I could have been improved greatly with a small amount of fat and some cinnamon.  Sorry to the creator of this recipe.  This one is not a keeper.


Find the original recipe on page 8: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score - 2
Ease of Preparation Score - 10


Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

1 cup self-rising flour (click the link to find a recipe to make your own)
1 cup skim milk
1 cup granulated Splenda
1 can peaches in juice (I did not drain)
nonstick spray*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix flour milk and Splenda.  Fold in peaches.  Pour into a dish coated with nonstick spray.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

*The original recipe calls for butter flavored nonstick spray.  I used plain.  This is part of the reason the flavor was low, but sadly, I don't think that would have saved this recipe.


Nutrition Information:
Serves 6:
1 serving =
120 calories
0 grams fat
26 grams carb
1 gram fiber
4 grams protein


Weight Watchers POINTS - 2
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 3
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 4


You might also like:
30 Days 30 Recipes

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Roasted Red Pepper Dip - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 17




I brought this recipe to my friend's house along with the Cauliflower Medley and Peach Cobbler.  Of the three recipes I brought, this one was the most liked.  My friend's son said it was delicious and my friend asked where I got the recipe.  So, I know this one's a keeper.

The original recipe is touted as a salsa alternative.  I'd say that's accurate.  To keep points low, I brought a bag of baked tortilla chips.  These were the perfect companion for this dip.  The recipe also suggested low fat crackers.  I tried the dip with reduced fat Triscuits and that was a pretty good match, but I'd say baked tortilla chips were the best.

So, if you're sick of salsa and still want a spicy treat, give this recipe a try.  It doesn't have any points value, but it does have a lot of flavor!


Find the original recipe on page 7: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score - 8
Ease of Preparation Score - 10


Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:

1/2 large can roasted red peppers, drained
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chili powder

Mix in blender and serve with low fat crackers or chips.

Nutrition Information
Serves 4:
1 serving =
16 calories
0 grams fat
4 grams carb
1 gram fiber
0 grams protein


Weight Watchers POINTS - 0
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 0
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 0

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cauliflower Medley - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 16




After the wild goose chase I went on for the fat free ricotta in my Easy Cheese Lasagna review, I couldn't bear going around to all the stores in the area, so I made a couple substitutions.  For some reason the grocery store I normally go to does not carry jars of pimiento, just pimiento with olives.  So I went with that.  I also used light Italian dressing instead of fat free.  And was it green olives I was supposed to use?  I hope so!  Oh yeah,  I forgot to steam the cauliflower (recipe fail???).

So, was this recipe good?  Or did I ruin it with my substitutions and mistakes?

Even with the lack of clarity in the original recipe, my mistakes and substitutions, this salad was delicious.  I see no need to steam the cauliflower if you leave it in the fridge overnight.  I did use their suggestion of marinating it in the bag.  That worked really well.  Also, I quadrupled the recipe because I was planning on bringing it to a cookout.

I'm not entirely sure how it went over with everyone.  There was a lot left at the end of the party.  This salad has a strong green olive taste, so I'm sure it's not everyone's cup of tea.  If you like the flavor of green olives, as I do, you should give it a try.  Cauliflower is a very nutritious vegetable and this is a great way to add it to your diet.


Find the original recipe on page 6: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score: 7
Ease of Preparation Score: 9


Cauliflower Medley

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh cauliflower broken into florets
1/2 cup light Italian dressing (original recipe called for fat free)
2 tablespoons sliced, ripe olives (I used green)
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 4 -ounce jar pimientos, drained

Steam cauliflower, covered, for 10 minutes (I was rushing, apparently, and forgot, DUH!) until tender.  Do not let it get mushy.  Place all ingredients in a large zip-lock bag.  Mix gently and refrigerate at least 8 hours.  Pour into a bowl and serve with a slotted spoon.


Nutrition Information:
Serves 4
One serving =
95 calories
5 grams fat
10 grams carb
1 gram fiber
1 gram protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 2 
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 2
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 4


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Honey Mustard Chicken - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day - 15





I'll start off by saying that this recipe is not as diet-friendly as I think it ought to be.  It's supposed to be for Weight Watchers, but at 8 points per serving for a chicken breast, it seems a bit high.  That said, my husband and daughter loved it.  It was even requested that I make it again.  My son didn't try it, but that doesn't count!  He's what we like to call a picky eater!  I liked it, but still, the Parmesan Chicken was my absolute fave so far!  I'll add this one to the list, though, seeing as my family enjoys it so much.


Find the original recipe on page 5: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes


Taste Score -9 (though my husband and daughter would say 10)
Ease of Preparation Score - 8

Honey Mustard Chicken

Ingredients:

3/4 cup light honey mustard dressing
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dill weed
1 medium scallion, finely sliced (or equivalent onion or green onion, finely sliced)
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
4 4-ounce boneless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl, combine dressing, salt, pepper, dill weed and scallion.  Remove 1/3 of the mixture and set aside.  Put corn flake crumbs in a shallow bowl.  Dip chicken into 2/3 remaining honey mustard mixture and then into corn flake crumbs.  Then place chicken on baking pan.  Discard any leftover honey mustard mixture that touched raw chicken.  Bake about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove from oven and pour 1/3 honey mustard mix (that did not touch raw chicken) over the cooked chicken.







Nutrition Information
Serves 4:
1 serving =
341 calories
12 grams fat
32 grams carb
1 gram fiber
25 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 8
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 9
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 10

If you don't eat all that much honey mustard dressing, shave off a few calories and a point or two.  I didn't even need any extra.  It was very flavorful without it.

All nutrition information is approximate and is calculated at caloriecount.com.


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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Deep Dish Pizza Casserole - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 14




I just want to say I have been trying to stay true to the recipes and not make major substitutions, but using a whole pound of ground beef on this about killed me.  I like to use beef a little more sparingly than this recipe calls for, but I wanted to give it a go.  My husband and daughter really liked the meatiness of this dish, but I'll admit to wanting more cheese and less beef.

Overall, the idea was good.  I might make it again using homemade crust, less beef and more cheese of the shredded variety.  Removing some meat would also help with the point value. And using 8 ounces of 2% mozzarella would up the cheese factor without too much calorie damage.


Find the original recipe on page 13: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score: 6 (me),  10 (husband and daughter)
Ease of Preparation Score: 9


Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

Ingredients:

1 pound ground round (I used 91% lean ground beef)
1 15 ounce can chunky Italian-style tomato sauce (I used a 15 ounce jar of pizza sauce)
1 10 ounce can refrigerated pizza crust dough
6 1 ounce slices part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Brown beef and drain.  Add tomato sauce and cook until heated through.  Spray a 13x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Unroll pizza dough and press into pan, bringing it partway up the sides.  Line bottom of crust with 3 slices of cheese.  Top with meat and tomato mixture.  Bake uncovered for 12 minutes.  Top with remaining cheese and bake 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information
Serves 6
1 serving =
393 calories
15 grams fat
32 grams carb
2 grams fiber
32 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 9
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 10
Weight Watchers Smart Points  - 11

Nutrition information is approximate and calculated at caloriecount.com.


I used more than 3 slices on top because my slices were less than one ounce.



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What We Ate For Supper This Week




Sunday - Tacos and leftovers

Monday - Hot Dogs, baked beans, quinoa tabouleh salad

Tuesday - Takeout pizza and salad - just got home from our trip - 8+ hours of driving and you better believe I wasn't cooking!

Wednesday - Frozen chicken patties, mixed vegetables, baked beans

Thursday - Food from the Clam Box after a day at the beach!  Fried clams for my daughter and me.  Hot dog for my son and hamburger for my husband.

Friday - Honey Mustard Chicken, baked beans, green beans

Saturday - Cookout at friends' house!  BBQ chicken, burgers, hot dogs, Cauliflower Medley (LINK coming soon!), Peach Cobbler (LINK coming soon!), Red Pepper Dip (LINK coming soon!), pasta salad and cookies


Cauliflower Medley
Honey Mustard Chicken

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Easy Mac and Cheese - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 13

It looks so good...


I remember making this one a while back and I remember not liking it much then.  I still am not a fan.  Sadly, I cannot recommend this recipe.  My husband and daughter liked it well enough, but if you want a good mac and cheese, this low fat version won't cut it.  It tastes more like creamy chemicals.  Sorry to the inventor of this recipe, whoever you are.  I won't be making this again.

Find the original recipe on page 3: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.

Taste Score: 3
Ease of Preparation Score: 8 (would be a 10 if you didn't have to stir constantly)


Easy Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 can lower fat cheddar cheese soup
1/2 can low fat milk
1/2 can water
1 cup uncooked macaroni
salt and pepper to taste (I added this)

Mix soup, milk and water in pan.  Heat until boiling.  Stir in pasta and cook over low heat until done (about 15 minutes).  Stir often as it will stick.





Nutrition Information
Serves 4
1 serving =
153 calories
2 grams fat
30 grams carb
2 grams fiber
5 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 3
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 4
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 5


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Friday, July 21, 2017

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 12




Try these now!  This recipe is excellent.  It's easy, healthy and very tasty.

The tang of the parmesan cheese paired with the italian seasoned breadcrumbs and just a hint of paprika make this recipe so simple, yet so delicious.  You have got to try it!  For dinner I served this chicken with the Creamed Corn Pancakes and steamed green beans to make a nice, well-rounded meal.

Let me know in the comment section below if you give this recipe a try!


Find the original recipe on page 37: 100 Weight Watchers Favorite Recipes


Taste Score - 10
Ease of Preparation Score - 10


Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
1/8 teaspoon paprika
4 4-ounce chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine cheese, bread crumbs and paprika in a shallow pan or plate.  Dip chicken into crumb mix, coating well.  Spray baking sheet and place chicken on it.  Bake 20-25 minutes.



Crumb coating



Nutrition Information:
Serves 4
166 calories
4.5 grams fat
3 grams carb
0 grams fiber
27 grams protein


Weight Watchers POINTS - 4
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 4
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 3



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Toasted Italian Breadcrumbs

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Strawberry Pie - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 11




I'll start off by telling you I almost messed this one up because I don't typically make heat and serve pudding.  I was rushing and added hot water to my pan to start it boiling faster.  Then, by chance, I glanced at the ingredients on the box of pudding.  First ingredient?  Cornstarch.  I promptly dumped my hot water and started over.  Why, you might ask?  Clumps!  Never put cornstarch in hot water!  Good thing I caught that.

So on to the review.  Is it good?  Worth making?  Yes, this one is a keeper.  It's easy, sweet, delicious and definitely diet friendly.  Bonus: everyone in my family really liked it!  It would be a great dish to bring along to a pot-luck or summer BBQ.

The only thing that gets me is the artificial sweetener, so I would probably not make it regularly.  I have no problem eating sugar free products on occasion.  I even use a couple sweeteners regularly.  The pudding and gelatin have aspartame, however.  Another recipe in the series,  Mandarine Orange Mousse, also has aspartame.  In the past, I found aspartame gave me headaches, but luckily I haven't noticed that with these recipes.  Given that, I would most likely make these dishes again to share at a party or event, and not consume them all by myself! Self control is key!

On that note, I am thinking of finding a way to make this recipe without the aspartame and possibly add stevia, but that would take the "easy" factor out.  If I find or come up with something I'll be sure to link back here and do a post on it.

Either way, this one is good, even with all the aspartame!


Find the original recipe on page 5: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes


Taste Score: 9
Ease of Preparation Score: 9


Strawberry Pie

Ingredients:

1 small box sugar free cook and serve vanilla pudding
2 cups water
1 small box sugar free strawberry gelatin
4 cups sliced strawberries (I kept mine whole)

In a medium saucepan, stir together water and pudding mix.  Heat to a boil.  Remove from heat and immediately add gelatin.  Stir until dissolved.  Set pan aside and let mixture cool to room temperature.

Place strawberries in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate (my pie plate is packed in a box so I used an 8x8 glass pan).  Pour cooled pudding mixture over strawberries.  Refrigerate until set.

Nutrition Information
Serves 6
1 serving =
37 calories
0 grams fat
8 grams carb
2 grams fiber
1 gram protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 0 (but not 0 if you eat the whole thing!)
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 1
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 1 (if you count the strawberries as "no-count")


We just moved so my pie plate is packed in a box somewhere.  Instead I used an 8x8 glass pan.  And I didn't slice the strawberries.  I'm such a rule-breaker!



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 10




These cookies are a very good substitute for their high calorie cousins, which usually have a lot more butter and sugar.  The applesauce, which replaces some of the fat, does change the consistency of the cookie, but not in a bad way.  The way these cookies come out reminds me almost of muffin tops, vs. cookies, but that's certainly not a bad thing.  I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to cut down on fat or calories in their diet.

And bonus: everyone in the house loved them!

A note on the consistency:  This cookie dough was not what I expected.  It was more like a muffin batter.  I used a tablespoon to scoop, as suggested, but there is no way I would have been able to roll this "dough" into balls.  So if you notice a runny batter don't be worried.  I didn't have my mixer unpacked yet, so that was one strike against me, but I'm sure the consistency of my batter still would have been runny.

The other thing is you'll notice two styles of cookies.  One type has a browned edge and the other a more consistent color.  The browned edge cookies are from my heavy weight Wilton aluminum baking sheet.  While I do like that pan, nothing compares to cookies on a stone.  The ones you see with consistent color and no browned edges are baked on my Pampered Chef and Walmart stones.  If you want the best cookies, definitely opt for a baking stone.


Find the original recipe on page 28: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score: 10
Ease of Preparation Score: 7


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Nutrition Information:
Serves 36
1 serving =
71 calories
3 grams fat
10 grams carbs
0 grams fiber
1 gram protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 2 (original recipe says 1)
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 2
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 3

All nutrition information is approximate and is calculated at caloriecount.com.


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Creamed Corn Pancakes - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 9





I'm not sure what prompted me to try these pancakes.  I think it was the quick and easy list of ingredients.  I hoped they would be good, but they're just ok.  My husband said he'd eat them again if I served them but would never request them.  I'm not sure I'd make them, though, because they were SO hard to flip.

To me they seemed like southern fare and being from the north may have biased me some.  So I'll give these pancakes the benefit of the doubt and assume I'm just the wrong audience.  Let me know in the comments below if you try them.


Find the original recipe on page 17: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Taste Score: 6
Ease of Preparation Score: 3 (low score for flipping difficulty)


Creamed Corn Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 16 ounce can creamed corn
3 heaping tablespoons flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine all ingredients well.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat.  Pour 1/4 cup corn batter onto hot skillet.  Fry until golden brown.

Nutrition Information
Serves 2
1 serving =
237 calories
3 grams fat
50 grams carb
3 grams fiber
8 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 4
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 7
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 8

All nutrition informations is approximate and is calculated using caloriecount.com.


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