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Monthly Archives: March 2015

March 31, 2015

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I’m a little nervous about today. It is weigh-in day and I am praying I lost. Last week I gained a few pounds and it really bothered me. I knew instantly where my pitfalls had been. I stayed away from them this week. Fingers crossed that the scales don’t scream at me. 🙂

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Grilled Southwest Chicken Salad

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This is my version of the same salad at McDonalds. 🙂

4 tablespoons ranch salad dressing
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
3 cups mixed salad greens
4 ounces chicken, grilled
3 ounces cheddar cheese, lowfat, shredded
1/4 cup black beans, canned, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, warmed

1. Mix first 5 ingredients well.

2. In a bowl, mix salad greens, chicken, cheese, beans and corn. Pour dressing on top and mix well.

Serves 2.

9 WW points.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 380 Calories; 26g Fat (60.6% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 51mg Cholesterol; 747mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 4 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Southwestern Salad Dressing

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I made this today and it was awesome!

4 tablespoons ranch salad dressing
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon lime juice

Mix all ingredients well. You can adjust the cayenne and garlic powder to suit your own tastes.

Serves 2.

4 WW points.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 158 Calories; 16g Fat (87.8% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 5mg Cholesterol; 335mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Fruit; 3 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Roasted Asparagus

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I found some baby asparagus pretty cheap the other day and decided to get it. I am so glad I did! It was soooo delicious! All I did to it was snap off the ends where it naturally snapped. Drizzled olive oil over it and sprinkled with some sea salt. I roasted it for about 12-15 minutes at about 400 degrees. Then I sprinkled some parmesan on it when it came out of the oven. It was so good that my crazy cat kept trying to steal it from me. I would say it was a winner!

Vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

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I had something like this recently and it was heavenly. I found this recipe on SimplyRecipes and hope it meets my expectations. I have adjusted it a little to make it Weight Watcher’s friendly. This is 10 servings and 11 WW points. That seems like a lot of points but this can be a full meal in itself rather than separate components. I wouldn’t eat additional bread. If you want to eat a salad with it, that would make it more filling and get you more veggies.

  • 1 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 generous cup of chopped onions
  • 1/8 cup olive oil plus more for keeping the noodles from sticking to each other
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I recommend Muir Glen brand with added basil)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed in clean towel of excess moisture
  • 1 lb whole wheat lasagna noodles (16 to 20 noodles)
  • 1 15-ounce container of part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 pound Parmesan, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 12 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
Place mushrooms in a large (6 to 8 quart), sautĂ© pan on high or medium high heat. Stir them with a wooden spoon or shake the pan from time to time. You may hear them squeak. Sprinkle salt over the mushrooms. The mushrooms will sizzle and then start to release water. (Note that you are not adding fat at this point to the pan; this method of cooking mushrooms in their own moisture is called “dry sautĂ©ing.) Once the mushrooms start to release water into the pan, stir in the chopped onions. Cook until the mushrooms are no longer releasing moisture and the mushroom water has boiled away, about 5 minutes more.

Add the olive oil to the mushrooms and stir to coat. Sauté the mushrooms and onions for about a minute.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for a minute longer. Reserve 1 cup of the tomato sauce (it will go in the bottom of the casserole dish), and put the remaining cup of tomato sauce into the pot with the mushrooms.  Add the large can of crushed tomatoes.  Add one cup of water. Stir in the thyme, sugar, and red pepper flakes. If you are using dried basil instead of fresh, add it now.  Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer on a low simmer, for 20 minutes.

Once sauce is simmering, salt the boiling pasta water, and add the dry lasagna noodles to the boiling water.  (The water should be at a vigorous, rolling boil.) Stir gently, making sure that the noodles are not sticking to each other. Set the timer for 8 minutes, or however long is indicated on the package of the noodles. Cook uncovered on a high boil. When the noodles are ready (al dente, cooked through but still firm to the bite), drain the noodles in a colander, and rinse them to cool them with cold water.  As you rinse them, gently separate them with your fingers so they don’t stick to each other. Prepare a couple large cookie sheets or baking sheets by spreading a tablespoon of olive oil over the baking sheets. Place the lasagna noodles on the sheets, gently coating them with a bit of that olive oil, and spreading them out. This will help keep them from sticking to each other while you finish the sauce and prepare the layered casserole.

Turn off the heat on the stovetop for the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the one cup of reserved tomato sauce over the bottom of a large (preferably 10×15-inch) casserole dish. (If your casserole dish is smaller, you may need to add another layer as you go through this step.) Place a layer of lasagna noodles down over the tomato sauce, slightly overlapping. (For our 10×15-inch dish, we ultimately fit 3 layers of noodles, each layer with 6 noodles.  Then we had 2 extra noodles on which to nosh.) Sprinkle half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles. Sprinkle half of the defrosted, drained, and excess moisture squeezed out spinach over the ricotta.  Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella cheese over the spinach, and just a quarter of the pecorino cheese. Then spoon 1/3 of your mushroom sauce over the Mozzarella. Sprinkle half of the fresh basil over the sauce if using.

Repeat the layering process. Place a second layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining ricotta, spinach, and Mozzarella over the noodles. Sprinkle another quarter of the pecorino along with the Mozzarella. Top with another third of the mushroom sauce and the remaining fresh basil.  Layer your final layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining sauce over the lasagna noodles, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino or parmesan cheese.

Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the casserole dish. Spread a little olive oil over the inside of the piece of foil (the side that will have contact with the lasagna). Place the foil over the casserole dish and crimp the edges.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 25 minutes.

Take the lasagna out of the oven when done and let it rest 10 minutes before cutting to serve. Once made, the lasagna will last a week in the fridge.

March 20, 2015

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Since January 27, 2015 I’ve lost 20.6 lbs. I just wanted to let y’all know. I’m happy. I’m seeing and feeling positive changes. It’s not easy. But the more positive changes I see the more I want to see.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

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I love Cajun flavors. I can’t handle it daily but every now and then it is a good thing. I found this recipe on The Half baked Life and it sounds really good. It’s only 6 WW points, too!  Lemme know if you try it.

  1. 1/2 lb thin spaghetti
  2. 2 small chicken breasts, cubed
  3. 2 tsp Cajun seasoning, divided
  4. 1/4 tsp paprika
  5. 1/2 tsp pepper
  6. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  7. 1 1/4 cup chicken stock, divided
  8. 1 tbsp. butter
  9. 1 tbsp. flour
  10. 1/2 cup half & half
  11. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  12. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Fill a pasta pot, or stock pot, with water and bring to a boil
  2. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain and set aside
  3. In a large bowl combine chicken, 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, paprika & pepper until chicken is evenly coated
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet
  5. Add in chicken and sauté chicken while slowing adding in 1/4 cup of chicken stock, cooking until chicken is no longer pink, then set aside
  6. In the same skillet melt butter
  7. Stir in flour, making a roux, making sure to cook for 2-3 minutes
  8. Slowly whisk in remaining 1 cup chicken stock and half & half
  9. Bring to a boil and remove from heat
  10. Whisk in cheeses, whisking until melted
  11. Add in spaghetti and chicken, tossing until pasta is completely coated
  12. Serve with a yummy salad
Notes:
Serves 6
Each serving is only 6 WW+ points
Nutritional Info
  1. Calories 250 Calories from Fat 106 Total Fat 11.8g Saturated Fat 5.3g Trans Fat 0.0g Cholesterol 59mg Sodium 395mg Potassium 131mg Total Carbohydrates 14.3g Dietary Fiber 0.8g Sugars 1.0g Protein 21.0g