Tag Archives: weight watchers

Coconut Curry Thai Chicken

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Once upon a time, 6 months ago, when we were living in Hawaii we would regularly eat at this really YUMMY Thai restaurant that was literally around the corner from our house. I had never had Thai food before living in Hawaii, and I quickly learned that I loved it. Well fast forward a little bit, we moved to the middle of nowhere southwestern Kentucky. We love it here in our little Mayberry like town, but there is no Thai food to be found. In fact, the nearest Thai restaurant is an hour and a half away in Nashville.

With that being said, I recently set out on a quest to find a recipe for Thai Chicken Curry that I could handle making and adapt it a bit to my liking. I found one, and changed it taking out some ingredients and adding some others.

Coconut Curry Thai ChickenIngredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, grilled and sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 bell peppers of varying colors
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 scallions, or more
  • 2 Tbsp green curry paste, or more to taste
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Serve with brown rice

How to Make it:

  1. Slice up the peppers into long strips. Coconut Curry Thai Chicken
  2. In a large pan, saute the peppers in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers into a mixing bowl, and use the same pan for the rest of your cooking.
  3. Heat the coconut milk over medium heat, stirring.
  4. Add in the curry paste and scallions. Continue to stir frequently until smooth.Coconut Curry Thai Chicken
  5. Stir in the chicken broth.
  6. Turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add in the soy sauce and brown sugar. Coconut Curry Thai Chicken
  8. Add the chicken and peppers, let simmer about 10 minutes to let all the flavors have a party.
  9. Stir in the cilantro.Coconut Curry Thai ChickenWe added more than 2 Tbsp of curry into ours, and ate it with brown rice. It makes about 4 servings. It tasted pretty close to the green curry we used to order at our favorite Thai place. The best part was this entire dish, with the rice, the Weight Watcher’s points was only 8PP!Coconut Curry Thai Chicken

 

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Healthy Italian Style Salad

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Healthy Italian Style SaladYesterday, I stopped at the store on my way home to pick up a couple of things. A huge smile spread across my face when, for the first time ever, I finally saw canned artichokes in water…not oil! My brain started cranking out ideas of what I could make with this.

When I was little and we would go visit my Grandma out of town she would always take us out to eat. One of her favorite restaurants was a place called Antonio’s. The pizza there was good, but the salad was AMAZING! And it was so simple, lettuce, toasted pepperonis, cheese and a really tasty house dressing. That salad sure would taste good with some artichokes! I had everything I needed at home already, so I decided to make this.

It tasted great, and brought back memories of my Grandma.

Healthy Italian Style Salad

Ingredients

  • lettuce (any type or spinach)
  • 12 slices of turkey pepperioni
  • 8 medium sized black olives, sliced
  • 5 or more artichoke quarters (packed in water)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat Italian Cheese
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • dried basil (to taste)

Steps

  1. Toast the turkey pepperoni in the toaster oven. If you do not have a toaster oven you can just use your oven, set on broil.
  2. Put the lettuce in the bowl. Top with olives, artichokes, pepperoni and cheese.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar on top. Add ground black pepper and dried basil to taste.

I just realized I could have also added tomato!

If you are on Weight Watchers this recipe prepared as is has a PP value of 7. Looking to save a few points? Omit the cheese and then it would only be 4 PP.

 

 

Eating Clean

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Counting points has become quite boring and inconvenient for me. I know that Weight Watcher’s works, but the monthly cost as well as my struggle to keep the weight off that I had initially lost has proven to me that I need to try something different.

 

Although this is likely one of the worst times for my husband and I to start focusing our attention on eating healthy, it is also one of the best times. Wait a second, is there ever a bad time to start eating healthy? Well here is why I say it is probably not the BEST thing we could be doing right now.

 

– We are in the process of buying a house. There are lots of transitions going on. We don’t have any of our stuff, including cooking supplies.

– We are on a tight budget.

-We are living with my in-laws. Love them dearly, but enough said!

 

Now, at the same time it is also the best time for us to start something like this!

-We just moved, we are starting fresh

-We are both bigger than we would like to be and willing to make changes

-My new job is awesome, super supportive and even has a wellness challenge that we started

– We would like to start a family sometime in the near future.

 

Our game plan is simple. Eat healthy, eat clean, no processed foods. What it is seemingly like to me, is a gluten-free, dairy-free, diet, very similar to Paleo. We are striving to eat 5-6 small meals each day. Each meal should consist of a lean protein, a healthy fat, and a healthy carb, which is usually a fruit or veggie. We will use the myfitnesspal app. on occasion to track our progress. Wish us luck!

When You’re Sick of Carrot Sticks and Fruit: Healthy Snacks

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So you made the New Year’s Resolution to eat healthy, be more active and lose weight. This is likely NOT the first time you have made that resolution, and you are in the same boat as me, and many others too.

By this time you are about a week into eating healthy, you are probably feeling pretty motivated and your home, hopefully is stocked with healthy eating choices. But, what do you do when you just simply get sick of snacking on the same things? A person can only take so many carrot sticks and apples to work each day before they get sick of it and start reaching for the unhealthy alternatives.

I want to share with you some of my non-fruit and veggie snacks, for when I simply don’t want fruits and veggies, but I also know that if I open up a bag of chips I will likely eat the entire bag. All of these snacks are also convenient, easy to pack on the go, and require little or no prep time what so ever.

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Fiber Selects Wheat Thins: Crunchy, salty and 5 gm of fiber per serving. A serving is 15 crackers. Each serving is 3PP if you are counting points for Weight Watchers. They are great by themselves, with laughing cow cheese, cottage cheese, lunch meats, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. They also make other varieties of the Fiber Selects but this is the only one that our store carries.

DSC_0677Chick Peas: Chick peas are pretty legit as is. They are great as a salad topper too. My favorite way to snack on them is to roast them. Two cans of chick peas, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray, drain the beans and spread them out, top with whatever seasonings you like and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. This snack is 3PP if you are tracking with Weight Watchers.

DSC_0675Apple Sauce: Although made from fruit I do not really consider this a fruit when it comes to snacking. They make so many varieties of this stuff it’s crazy. You can even buy strawberry or grape apple sauce now. The points value on this varies from 0-3PP per serving depending on what you buy.

DSC_0674Fat Free Pudding: A great snack for when you are craving chocolate. Also, makes a great dessert. Points vary between 1-2PP for this. If you are feeling fancy you could top it with strawberries.

DSC_0673Yoplait Light: I am a big fan of these. There are lots of different flavors to suit anyone’s taste buds. For 2PP per serving you really can’t go wrong either. Some of my favorite flavors are the apricot mango, key lime pie, and strawberry banana. The vanilla is also very yummy and tastes even better when you mix in some powdered peanut butter. These also freeze! Throw them in the freezer for a refreshing snack on a hot day or after a workout.

DSC_0672Cheese Sticks: These bring back memories as a kid. I normally do not pull them down little string by little string anymore, but they are still good. They do pair well with fruit, but I also like to cut them into chunks and eat them with grape tomatoes. The low fat varieties are usually only 1 PP each if you are counting points for Weight Watchers.

DSC_0669Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Bars: These are my life-saver. When most other granola type bars contain nuts…this specific type does not. Therefore they are safe for me to bring to work. (I work at a nut free school). They taste like a candy bar, and my students often get mad at me when I eat these in front of them because they think they are a candy bar. They are only 3PP each too! I have also tried the peanut butter, and chocolate almond ones…all are amazing. And as the box says, “tastes better than Fiber One!” I fully agree.

DSC_0666Frozen Edamame: Put some in a sandwich bag and add a little sea salt. Take them with you on the go, or to work and by the time you are ready to snack they will be thawed out. If you are tracking your points on Weight Watchers it is 3PP for 1/2 cup.

DSC_0665Healthy Choice Greek Frozen Yogurt: This is my latest find. They come in 3 flavors, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry. All equally amazing. I love ice cream, it is my favorite food. This is pretty similar and it is portioned out into individual cups so there is no opportunity for me to eat an entire 1/2 gallon. Each cup is only 100 calories and 3PP.

 

Just because these snack ideas are not fruits and veggies does not mean you don’t have to eat your fruits and veggies to stay on track with getting or staying healthy 🙂

Muffin Pan Veggie Quiches

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In the search for new and healthy things to back for lunch, I thought that mini quiches might be an easy and fun thing to throw into my lunch bag. I had seen many recipes on different websites but most had a few things in common: they required a mini muffin pan (which I do not own), they made 48+ servings (I don’t love quiche THAT much and I’m not having a party), they needed 6+ eggs (I only had 3 on hand and didn’t want to run to the store).

I knew that I wanted cute little quiches and I knew that I had lots of veggies, some cheeses, 3 eggs and a regular muffin pan. Thus, this experiment of making my own quiches came to life, and surprisingly they turned out really well. My husband even said, “Those smell really good,” as they were cooking. Of course he followed that up with, “that doesn’t mean they will actually taste good”. After they cooled he had one and said they were pretty good.

This recipe makes 12 quiches. Each quiche is 1 PointsPlus value if you are on Weight Watchers.

Ingredients

1 small zucchini

1/2 cup or more of fresh broccoli

1 small onion

1/4 cup skim milk

3 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 oz reduced fat cheddar, cubed

1/2 Tbs dried basil (or more)

Salt and pepper to taste

12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in to halves

 

What to do:

1. Combine/chop zucchini, broccoli, onion in blender. (I did only these ingredients first, since when they are chopped up they take up less space in the blender making room for all of the other ingredients.)

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2. To the veggie mixture add in milk, eggs (cracked of course), cheeses, baking soda, basil and salt and pepper.  Blend together until all ingredients are well combined. It should look like the picture below.

DSC_06563. Spoon mixture into muffin pan, lined with paper liners. Top each mini quiche with tomato. Do not fill all the way to the top as the quiches will rise a little while baking.

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4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until edges and tops start to brown slightly.

DSC_06615. Transfer to a metal cooling rack. Let them cool a bit before serving.

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You could add in whatever veggies you would like, this is just what I had on hand. I think next time I would like to add in some red sweet pepper.

 

On a side note: My husband and I recently invested in a Ninja Blender. We purchased it at Costco before the holidays on sale to replace our “cheapest blender they had at the time from Walmart” blender. This Ninja is the best blender I have ever owned. It makes great smoothies, and blends together ingredients for recipes that I simply would have never thought of even attempting with my old blender. It is also much more affordable than the Vitamix.

Chipotle’s Barbacoa Beef

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Recently, my husband and I traveled to Arizona for the holidays. One of the big things for us when we travel is eating at places that we don’t have in Hawaii. Typically, In and Out Burger and Chipotle are at the top of the list. But, this time we just didn’t make it to Chipotle. Both of us are big fans of their Barbacoa Beef, so we decided to do some research online and make our own.

The original recipe I use can be found here. I used the same ingredients, just mixed up how we used them a little bit, and also how we cooked it. It makes 9 servings and is 7 Points Plus per serving if you are on Weight Watchers.

Ingredients:

About 3 pounds eye of round roast, all fat trimmed

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 medium onion

1/2 lime juice

4 chipotles canned in adobo sauce

1 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs oregano

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup of water

salt & pepper

1 tsp olive oil

3 Bay leaves

Procedures:

1. Trim fat off of roast, cut into 4 inch chunks.

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2. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a large pan. Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper and brown it on high heat.

barbacoa beef browning the meat

3. Meanwhile, put garlic, onion, chipotles (with a little of the sauce too), lime juice, cumin, oregano, cloves into the blender.

Barbacoa Beef Ingredients

4. You can attempt to blend it just like that, but for me that didn’t work. I improvised by adding 1/2 cup of water into the blender. It then blended up great.

Barbacoa Beef Sauce

5. Add browned beef, 3 bay leaves and sauce and the other 1/2 cup of water into your Crock Pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Finally, use two forks to shred the beef and let it cook a little longer to gain the full flavor of the sauce.  I also left the lid off of the crock pot toward the end to allow the sauce to thicken.

6. Serve with rice, on quesadillas, tacos, burritos or all by itself.

Barbacoa Beef

Just to warn you, this really smells amazing. Just the sauce by itself before cooking smelled amazing. Since it was so delicious we will be making quesadillas with the leftovers tomorrow.

Tangy Crockpot Beef

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When I was still living at home, a roast with mashed potatoes and vegetables was one of my favorite meals. Living on my own and learning how to cook, I discovered what a pain it can be to bake a roast, especially if you are working and do not have the time.

This roast is cooked in the slow cooker, so it cooks while you work. You come home to an amazing smelling house and a delicious dinner. One of the easiest roasts you will ever make. There are only 2 ingredients. Yup…only 2. You then have the option of serving it as is, as a sandwich, or with rice or potatoes.

 

Ingredients:

1 Beef Roast, eye of round or really any kind you want, trimmed of fat.

1 16oz jar of banana peppers

 

What You Do:

1. Place the roast in the crockpot.

2. Pour the banana peppers, along with all of the liquid on top.

3. Turn the crockpot on low, and cook at least 6-8 hours. I leave mine on all day and it comes out great.

4. Shred beef using 2 forks. It will pretty much just fall apart.

Makes about 8 servings, depending on the size of the roast. Each serving is 6 Points Plus if you are on Weight Watchers.
If you plan to serve it as sandwiches, ciabatta bread works best. Broil the bread a little bit first. Crisping up the bread will make the sandwich a little less messy. Top with the beef mixture.

To make it even more tasty, top it with a slice of cheese. We used light pepper jack cheese. The entire sandwich, with cheese is 10 Points Plus, and delicious!