Monday, November 30, 2009

Rocky Road Brownies


POINTS® Value: 3

Servings: 24

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 30 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

These rich, cakelike brownies really hit the spot. We slimmed them down by substituting applesauce for oil. Easy and delicious.


1 package(s) regular brownies, dry mix, about 21 1/2 oz

1/4 cup(s) water

1/4 cup(s) unsweetened applesauce

4 large egg white(s)

1/4 cup(s) walnut halves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup(s) mini chocolate chips, or 2 oz

8 medium marshmallow(s), chopped or 1 cup mini marshmallows


Coat a 9- x 13-inch pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Prepare brownie mixture according to package directions for lower fat brownies using 1/4 cup water, applesauce and egg whites. Pour into prepared pan.

Sprinkle walnuts over top of brownies; bake according to package directions. Remove from oven about 5 minutes before the end of the baking time, and tosschocolate chips and marshmallows over top; cook 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool brownies on a wire rack. Cut into 24 pieces; serve.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies


POINTS® Value: 2

Servings: 24

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cooking Time: 12 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Whole-grain flour adds both a health and flavor-boost to these fantastic homemade favorites.


2 spray(s) cooking spray

2/3 cup(s) light cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup(s) unpacked brown sugar

1/3 cup(s) sugar

1 large egg(s)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup(s) whole-grain wheat flour

1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour, unbleached

1/4 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp fat-free skim milk

6 oz mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.

Beat cream cheese and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer until sugar is fully incorporated (should not have granules); add egg and vanilla and blend again.

Combine both flours, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Add half the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture; beat until well incorporated. Add milk and remaining flour mixture; beat until fully blended and then fold in chips.

Drop heaping teaspoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheet and press dough down with dampened fingers to form 1-inch cookies. Make sure to leave at least an inch between each cookie. Bake cookies until slightly golden on top, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes; remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving.


Want to bake just a few cookies at a time? Roll the raw cookie dough into a log using wax paper and freeze it. To bake, just slice off a few cookies at a time and set them on a prepared cookie sheet. Increase the baking time by 1 to 2 minutes.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yams Ala DietSodaDiva

Yesterday's recipe sort of reminds me of how we have yams (I like yams over sweet potatos) at my house... I usually baked them in the oven until very mushy... while still hot toss some Splenda on them and a little fat free milk, mix them all... oh so good! I can't really calculate the points but it's basically a serving of yams, the fat free milk... that's it. I usually measure my milk and weigh my yams...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Last-Minute Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Side dishes
POINTS® Value: 2

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 3 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Works with Simply Filling - Baking the potatoes helps enhance their sweetness. Couple that with naturally sweet pineapple and you've got a delicious, two-ingredient Thanksgiving side dish.

4 large sweet potato(es), washed and dried
15 1/4 oz canned pineapple, packed in juice, crushed, drained

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Place potatoes directly on middle rack of oven. Bake, checking for doneness by either gently squeezing potatoes or pricking them with a fork to see if they’re really soft, about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and cool for 5 minutes more.

Scrape potato flesh from skin into a large bowl. Add drained pineapple chunks and mash with a potato masher or spoon until pineapple has broken down slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chocolate Chile Cookies

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 16
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

These are a Texas favorite: a heat spike in an otherwise intensely chocolate cookie.

2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate square(s), chopped
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1/2 cup(s) sliced almonds
1 cup(s) dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup(s) sugar, granulated
2 large egg(s), at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick spray.

Place the chocolate in a small bowl and microwave on high for 15 seconds. Stir well, then continue microwaving in 15-second increments, stirring after each, until half the chocolate has melted.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and continue stirring until the chocolate has fully melted.

Set aside to cool for 5 minutes while you begin making the cookie dough.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl; set aside.

Place the almonds in a skillet set over medium-low heat; cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Beat both sugars and the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale brown, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Remove the beaters and stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, just until all the flour has been moistened. Stir in the toasted almonds.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the mounds about 2 inches apart.

Bake in the top and bottom thirds of the oven for 5 minutes. Reverse the cookie sheets top to bottom and back to front, and continue baking until firm and slightly puffed, about 10 minutes.

Cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Wait for the cookie sheets to cool again, approximately 5 minutes, before spraying with nonstick spray and making more cookies. Yields 2 cookies per serving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Renovation: Pecan Pie

POINTS® Value: 7
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

This is a deliciously gooey but low-fat dessert.

8 sheet(s) phyllo dough
4 spray(s) cooking spray, or enough to coat dough
3/4 cup(s) pecan halves, chopped lengthwise into 3 pieces each
4 medium egg white(s), lightly beaten
1/3 cup(s) light corn syrup
2/3 cup(s) unpacked brown sugar, firmly packed
6 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray.

Cut phyllo sheets in half diagonally to form 2 equal-size triangles. Place 1 sheet in prepared pan, lightly coat with cooking spray, and top with another sheet of phyllo, placing corners just to the right of previous corners. Repeat with remaining sheets, so you're covering the pan with a fan of phyllo. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; pour into crust. Bake, uncovered, about 35 minutes or until firm. Cover halfway through baking process if crust becomes too brown. Cool in pan.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey and Cheddar Wrap

POINTS Value: 5
Servings: 2
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

A tasty way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Also great with baby arugula or shredded romaine instead of watercress.

1 1/2 Tbsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 tsp mustard, coarse-grain
2 medium whole wheat tortilla(s), warmed according to package directions
4 oz cooked turkey breast, chopped
1/4 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground (or to taste)
1/2 cup(s) tomato(es), diced
2 Tbsp red onion(s), diced
1 cup(s) watercress
3 Tbsp low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp-variety

In a small cup, combine mayonnaise and mustard. Lay tortillas on a cutting board; spread with mustard mixture.

Top tortillas with turkey, placing it about 1-inch from edges; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top turkey with tomatoes, onion, watercress and cheese.

Tuck in sides of tortilla and then roll it up tightly; cut in half on a diagonal. Yields 2 halves per serving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nutty Sweet Potato Salad

Side Dishes
POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 5 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Sweet potatoes aren't just for Thanksgiving anymore. We used them to put a spin on our potato salad, that all-American picnic side dish.

2 large sweet potato(es), peeled and cut into chunks (about 1 1/4 lbs)
3 Tbsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp five-spice powder
1/4 cup(s) chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup(s) currants
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Steam sweet potato chunks until tender, about 5 minutes; cool to room temperature.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice and five-spice powder. Pour over sweet potatoes and toss gently.

Add walnuts and currants; toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pumpkin Flan

DessertsPOINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Buck tradition this Thanksgiving and forgo standard pumpkin pie. Instead, whip up our smooth, spicy and low-calorie flan.

1/2 cup(s) unpacked brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp table salt
16 oz canned pumpkin
1 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 cup(s) orange juice
3/4 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute
8 Tbsp lite whipped topping
1/2 medium orange(s), cut into 8 thin wedges

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in pumpkin, milk, orange juice and egg substitute; divide among eight 6-ounce custard cups.

Set custard cups in a high-rimmed roasting pan and pour boiling water around them to a depth of 1 inch. Bake until firm around edges and slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Remove cups from water (careful not to burn yourself), cool completely, cover and refrigerate. Before serving, top each cup with a tablespoon of whipped topping and an orange wedge.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cranberry-Nut Turkey Salad

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

This recipe uses pantry and refrigerator staples making it an effortless meal the day after Thanksgiving. Sure beats an endless parade of turkey sandwiches.

2 1/2 cup(s) roasted skinless turkey, chopped or diced
1/3 cup(s) fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup(s) low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup(s) scallion(s), chopped
1/4 cup(s) chopped walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
4 cup(s) romaine lettuce, torn

Combine all ingredients, except lettuce, in a medium bowl; mix well and serve over lettuce.

Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Centers

POINTS® Value: 2

Servings: 30

Preparation Time: 12 min

Cooking Time: 11 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Who doesn't love the lip-smacking duo of peanut butter and chocolate? These cookies will fly off the serving plate when you bring them out for a crowd.

2 spray(s) cooking spray
1 cup(s) sugar, granulated
1/4 cup(s) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup(s) chunky peanut butter
2 large egg(s)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup(s) whole-grain wheat flour
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.

Place sugar, butter and peanut butter in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well with mixer.

Add salt, baking soda and flour to sugar mixture; beat until completely incorporated.

Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheets and flatten with the back of a wooden spoon. Make sure to leave about 2 inches between each cookie. (Bake in several batches to prevent over-crowding if necessary.) Place a chocolate chip in center of each cookie.

Bake cookies until edges brown, about 10 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 1 or 2 minutes; remove cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


POINTS® Value: 4
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 6 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

This version of the Tex-Mex favorite is a fork-and-knife affair, the egg yolk running into the green salsa for an unbeatable combination. Makes for a Delish-Breakfast!

4 large egg(s)
4 medium corn tortilla(s)
1/2 cup(s) salsa, green variety (salsa verde)
1/2 cup(s) cherry tomato(es), diced
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced
7 Tbsp queso asadero Mexican cheese, shredded
1 tsp chili powder

Bring a large, wide saucepan or high-sided skillet of water to a full simmer over high heat.

Reduce the heat under the water to low so that the water is at the barest simmer. Crack an egg into a custard cup or a teacup, then gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other 3 eggs, keeping them as far apart in the pan as possible. Turn off the heat, cover and set the pot aside until the whites are firm but the yolks are a bit runny, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, set a skillet over medium heat. Add the tortillas one at a time and cook until warm and pliable, turning once, about 45 seconds per side. Transfer them to 6 serving plates.

Top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons salsa verde. Divide the diced tomatoes and oregano evenly among the tortillas. Divide the cheese among the tortillas.

Use a slotted spoon to pick up the eggs one by one, letting the excess water drain off. Set the eggs one by one on top of the prepared tortillas. Sprinkle each with 1/4 teaspoon chili powder.

Yields 1 topped tortilla and 1 poached egg per serving.

For the best taste, look for these Mexican cheeses: queso Chihuahua (a creamy, white or pale-yellow cheese) or queso asadero (a mild, melty cheese).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cocoa Brownies

POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 16
Preparation Time: 7 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Fudgy and rich. An easy, super-satisfying chocolaty treat.

3/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa, powder
3/4 cup(s) sugar
1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 cup(s) low-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 spray(s) cooking spray

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Then use a wooden spoon to stir in the yogurt and vanilla until smooth but quite thick.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the thick batter into the pan, evenly to the corners.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before cutting into 16 squares, 2- X 2-inches each.

Yields 1 square per serving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Single and On Plan: Boozing and Losing

A editor tries to find a balance between enjoying happy hours in the city and dropping a few notches on the scale.

I started writing this column last June as I tried to lose "those last five pounds"—without giving up early-bird drink specials and pub crawls. I've been attending At Work meetings in our office, lost over 10 pounds* and reached my goal this fall, but I've Pogo-ed up and down since January with getting back to goal; and I think my single-city social life is to blame.

I don't want to say no to happy hours, marathon Saturday-night birthday parties in New York or playing drinking games with my big Irish family. (Our holiday parties showcase 10-on-10 flip-cup races and beer pong tables. Even my 84-year-old grandma makes guest appearances for a round or two.)

I know I could probably maintain my goal weight steadily if I cut out the booze, but I'd gain a few pounds back in one celebratory weekend so I might as well make this plan work for me to keep it off for good. My monthly column shares my thoughts and tips while asking you for suggestions as well.I've been working in the health industry for over two years

My Low POINTS® Value Standbys
These come in at a POINTS value of 3 or less, but use your POINTS Tracker for accuracy with different brands.
Bottled regular beer, 12 oz.
Bottled light beer, 12 oz.
Glass of wine, 6 oz.
Flute of Champagne, 6 oz.
Club soda and shot of flavored vodka (with a squeeze of lime or splash of juice)
Diet Coke with vanilla vodka or flavored rum

and have come to realize it's not always easy to make healthy decisions while out having fun. But

I'm going to try my best to get back to my goal weight and enjoy myself while doing it.
In my this installment, I'm tackling The Bar. Here are some tips I try to exercise on a night out with friends:

Pack a good snack for "after."When I anticipate coming home late from the bar, I try to plan ahead. Before heading out, I'll portion out a snack or mini-meal that will satisfy my post-drink munchies: low-fat cheese and crackers, pretzels, peanut butter and jelly on light bread.

Whatever it is, I just make sure it's portion controlled and the first food I see when I arrive home. Otherwise, I'll find an empty bag of pretzels on my counter in the morning and wonder what the heck happened last night.

Eat some protein.When I'm going out after work and know I won't get home until late, I'll try to eat a filling vegetable or fruit (like carrots, an apple or banana) and protein (like nuts or a granola bar) to stay satisfied. Sometimes I'll have my snack around lunchtime and save my packed lunch for 3 or 4 p.m. so I'm less hungry (and goofy) with the first few drinks.

Buy the first round.This strategy may not save me money, but I can take my time with my drink and not feel pressured to chug once I see my friends have emptied their glasses. I tell them I'm still working on mine while they buy their second round. When my guy friends let me pick up the first round, this keeps me from trying to keep up with them.

Keep them under three.POINTS values that is. For occasions that aren't incredibly "special" to me, I won't order a bathtub-sized margarita that'll drain half of my daily POINTS Target. Check out the sidebar for my go-to drinks with low POINTS values.

Dance! Or pretend to. My dance floor formula usually requires three elements: two drinks, a good DJ and a friend willing to get up there with me. But once I'm there, I'm staying put—burning calories away from bar. Granted, I probably drink the first third of my beverage quickly, so as to not spill any precious, expensive alcohol on the floor or me. But I love to dance, and I don't drink as much while I'm bustin' a move, so this tip works well for me.

Tips from Single Girls Around the World
Melanie, Editor for Weight Watchers' Australia/New Zealand Web site:"I ask for mixed drinks in a tall glass, they last longer."

Gina, Editor for Weight Watchers' United Kingdom Web site:"When I'm heading straight to the bar from work, I always make sure to have a big lunch—say, a homemade wrap or leftovers from last night's dinner. Then, if I get the chance, light crackers, a Weight Watchers

Just2POINTS&153 bar or something small just before I shut down my computer for the day or on the train on the way to the bar. That way I don't succumb to the greasy bar menu."
"Knowing I have something waiting for me in the fridge when I get home is imperative—some yummy leftovers to heat up—anything to distract me from the gauntlet of late-night burger bars and kebab shops on the way home after a long night."

Sandra, Editor for Weight Watchers' Germany Web site:"I have a glass of water between the drinks. It prevents a horrible hangover (due to dehydration by alcohol) and I won't drink as many wines as I would without the water."

"I always have an Alka-Seltzer before I go to bed; it helps me feel better the next day."

This article was originally posted on

Monday, November 16, 2009

Greek Chicken Pitas

POINTS® Value: 6Servings: 4Preparation Time: 15 minCooking Time: 20 minLevel of Difficulty: Easy

An upscale chicken sandwich with loads of flavor. Also works with lamb and pork.

2/3 cup(s) plain fat-free yogurt, Greek style
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 pound(s) boneless, skinless chicken thigh(s), cut into strips
2 spray(s) cooking spray, or as neededYogurt-Cilantro Sauce
2/3 cup(s) plain fat-free yogurt, Greek style
2 tsp cilantro, fresh, minced (plus extra for garnish)
1/4 tsp ground cumin, or less to taste
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly groundRemaining Ingredients
4 item(s) Weight Watchers 100% Whole Wheat Pita Pocket Bread, or other brand
2 medium plum tomato(es), chopped
1 small cucumber(s), chopped

In a medium glass bowl, combine yogurt, garlic and lemon juice; add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove chicken from refrigerator; scrape off excess yogurt and place chicken on prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, flipping once, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl; stir well.

Make a slit in each pita and fill each with equal amounts chicken, tomato and cucumber; spoon in sauce. Yields 1 pita per serving.

Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with fresh lemon juice before stuffing into pitas, if desired.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chipotle Vinaigrette

POINTS® Value: 1Servings: 4Preparation Time: 7 minCooking Time: 0 minLevel of Difficulty: Easy

Perk up any salad with this Southwestern dressing. It's great on hearty, main-course salads with grilled chicken, seared tuna or smoked tofu.
1 item(s) canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded, or less to taste
4 tsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp walnut oil
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp table salt

Place the ingredients in a food processor or a mini food processor; process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the canister once or twice. Yields about 1 1/2 tablespoons per serving.

Look for canned chipotles in adobo sauce in the Latin-American aisle of your market.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

POINTS® Value: 4Servings: 6Preparation Time: 10 minCooking Time: 12 minLevel of Difficulty: EasyWorks with Simply Filling

This no-cook sauce is meant to show off the best tomatoes of the season. It’s done in minutes and gorgeously fresh.

2 pound(s) cherry tomato(es), preferably a mixture of reds and yellows
1/4 cup(s) basil, packed leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
12 oz uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti, cooked and drained according to package instructions

Roughly chop the tomatoes; place in a large bowl. Stir in the basil, oil, vinegar, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the drained pasta and toss well. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Greek Lemon-Dill Grilled Chicken Salad

POINTS® Value: 6Servings: 4Preparation Time: 18 minCooking Time: 15 minLevel of Difficulty: EasyWorks with Simply Filling

A decomposed Greek salad with a few tasty additions like chickpeas and fresh dill.

6 Tbsp water
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin
2 1/4 tsp lemon zest
4 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp table salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces
2 spray(s) cooking spray

4 cup(s) romaine lettuce, thickly shredded

1 cup(s) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup(s) roasted red peppers, packed in water, diced

1 cup(s) English cucumber, sliced

10 medium olive(s), Kalamata, sliced
1/4 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese
4 1/2 Tbsp dill, fresh, chopped

1/2 medium lemon(s), cut into wedges for garnish

In a small bowl, combine water, oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper; remove 1/4 cup of dressing and place in a large zip-close plastic bag (or glass bowl).

Add chicken to bag (or bowl) and turn to coat; seal bag (or cover bowl) and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining lemon mixture for dressing.

When ready to cook, off heat, coat grill or grill pan with cooking spray; preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.

Grill chicken, turning as needed, until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Place lettuce on a serving platter; arrange vegetables, chickpeas, chicken, olives and cheese on top. Stir dill into reserved dressing; drizzle over salad. Yields about 1 1/2 cups salad, 1 chicken breast and 1 tablespoon each olives and feta per serving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lemon Ginger Asparagus

1 1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off
2 Tbsp canned chicken broth, or homemade chicken stock
1/2 Tsp ginger root, freshly grated
1 Tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp scallions, minced
1/4 Tsp table salt
1/4 Tsp black pepper

Bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium skillet. Place asparagus in skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook until asparagus are tender-crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes; drain well and place asparagus in a large glass serving bowl. In a cup, combine broth, ginger, lemon juice, scallion, salt and pepper; pour over asparagus. Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate. Reheat to serve.

Makes 4 servings
POINTS value per serving: 0

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Get the Most out of What You Eat

Feeling satisfied may be your ticket to successful weight management.
What is satiety? It’s that lasting feeling of fullness at a meal's end, the feeling that you're no longer hungry or deprived. It can be a hard feeling to achieve with some diets. But satiety isn’t a luxury when it comes to weight loss—in fact, it may be your ticket to successful weight management.

"To get more satisfaction out of food, the idea is to fill up on foods that give you a lot of volume for relatively few calories," says Karen Miller-Kovach, MS, RD, chief scientist at Weight Watchers International. For example, 1/4 cup of raisins and 1 2/3 cups of grapes have the same number of calories, but with the grapes, you obviously get to eat much more, and you're apt to feel more satisfied when you're through.

Besides fresh fruit like grapes, other satiating high-volume foods include complex carbohydrates that are high in water, air and/or fiber, such as air-popped popcorn, vegetables and whole-grains like brown rice, says Miller-Kovach. But lean protein-rich foods, such as a skinless chicken breast, low-fat or nonfat yogurt or skim milk can also contribute to satiety, she adds. That's why, for maximum satisfaction, you might want to make sure your meals also contain some lean protein, says Miller-Kovach.

Super-Satisfying Temptation TamersOther mealtime tricks for pumping up the volume in your food to maximize your satisfaction on fewer calories:
Start meals with a first course of broth-based soup, vegetable juice or a salad with reduced fat or low-fat dressing. One caveat: "Make sure that first course isn't more than 100 calories," says Barbara Rolls, PhD, Guthrie Chair of Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. Otherwise, you could end up eating too many calories at that particular meal.

According to Rolls' research, which has been published in her book Volumetrics (Harper Collins, 2000), subjects who began their meals with a high-volume, low-calorie starter like soup or salad ate 100 fewer calories over the course of the entire meal compared to those who started their meal with the entrée.

Eat more vegetables, such as leafy greens, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, summer squash and onions. In fact, stash them in stews, soups, pasta sauces, pizza and meat loaf. They're high-volume, high-satisfaction, low-calorie superstars because they're loaded with water and fiber, Rolls says, two top filler-uppers.

Limit very dry foods,such as pretzels, crackers and chips. Dry foods lack water and thus are low in volume. "Dry foods pack a lot of calories into a small portion and are easy to overeat," says Rolls. You can also make it second nature to gravitate toward healthy foods that fill you up. When you follow the Weight Watchersfood plan, we can help you learn to naturally seek out these foods, while still being able to enjoy the treats you love.

Eventually you might find yourself gravitating towards these more satisfying, less caloric choices, making your healthy eating habits a way of life, not a chore.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baked Spaghetti Carbonara

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This traditional Italian dish featuring fatty bacon, heavy cream and eggs is lightened up with turkey bacon, skim milk and egg substitute, and then baked to perfection.

8 oz uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti
4 slice(s) uncooked turkey bacon, diced
2 medium leek(s), chopped (white parts only)
3 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly chopped
1 1/4 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions (without added oil); drain and transfer to a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add leeks and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in oregano, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Spoon bacon mixture evenly over spaghetti in pie plate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg substitute, garlic powder and onion powder; pour over spaghetti mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until filling is set and top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing into 6 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

POINTS® Value: 6

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 5 min

Cooking Time: 10 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

This quick, stovetop version of mac and cheese is destined to become a family favorite. It's creamy and satisfying — so easy to make.


12 oz uncooked pasta, elbow macaroni or other small shape (about 3 cups)

1/8 tsp table salt, for pasta cooking water

2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk

1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp table salt

3/4 tsp onion powder

1 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp-variety

1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce, or more to taste


Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to package directions; drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, while pasta cooks, in a large saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, salt and onion powder until blended.* Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cheese and hot sauce. Add sauce to pasta; toss to mix and coat. Yields about 1 cup per serving. Notes*Add red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper with the salt and onion powder, if desired.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Curried Chicken Salad with Baked Whole-Wheat Tortilla Chips

POINTS® Value: 7
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 22 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Scoop up this curry, fruit and nut chicken salad with our homemade chips. Or use the well-flavored filling for wraps and sandwiches.

1 1/2 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 cup(s) water
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1/4 cup(s) plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup(s) reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ginger root, freshly grated
1/3 cup(s) parsley, fresh, chopped
3 Tbsp walnut halves, chopped
1/4 cup(s) golden raisins
3 medium whole wheat tortilla(s)
2 spray(s) cooking spray
1/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

Put chicken, water and 2 tablespoons of salt in a medium saucepan; bring just to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook, covered, just until chicken is firm, about 15 minutes; remove pan from heat and set aside. When chicken is cool, pull it apart by hand into shredded, bite-size pieces (or shred chicken with 2 forks).

Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, curry, ginger and parsley together in a medium bowl. Add shredded chicken, walnuts and raisins; gently mix to coat. Refrigerate chicken salad until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat both sides of tortillas with cooking spray. Layer tortillas on top of each other and cut the stack into eighths to make chips. Spread chips out in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet; season to taste with salt. Bake until golden brown and crisp, rotating baking sheet once, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve chips with chilled chicken salad. Yields about 1 cup of chicken salad and 6 tortilla chips per serving. NotesYou can swap turkey for the chicken if you prefer.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

POINTS® Value: 5

Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cooking Time: 45 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Who says real men don't eat quiche? It's really just an omelet in a pie crust. Make it for the whole family.


6 oz pie crust, 9-inch, refrigerated

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup(s) red onion(s), chopped

1 1/4 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

1 large egg(s)

2 large egg white(s)

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp table salt, or more to taste

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or more to taste

10 oz frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and well-drained

1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375ºF. Press pie crust into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch, removable-bottom tart pan or a 9-inch pie pan; refrigerate until ready to use.

To make filling, heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer onion to a large bowl and add ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, egg, egg whites, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well and fold in broccoli. Spoon mixture into prepared crust and level surface with a wooden spoon; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake until a knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving. NotesNot a broccoli fan?

Substitute spinach in its place.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Glazed Pear Muffins

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 18 min
Cooking Time: 35 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
These pear muffins are topped with a delicious, slightly-spiced ginger glaze. They're great for breakfast, brunch or as a gift for your favorite hostess.

2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 large pear(s), ripe, Bosc, with skin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup(s) sugar, granulated
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup(s) sour cream
1 large egg(s), beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour, unbleached
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup(s) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp water, warm, or more if necessary

Preheat oven to 375ºF and coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray (or muffin liners).
Core and chop pears into tiny cubes; place in a large bowl. Add cinnamon, granulated sugar and lemon juice to pears; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and milk; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Make a well with a spoon in center of flour mixture and pour in sour cream mixture and fruit mixture, alternating in small batches; mix until barely blended. Do not over beat. (NOTE: Batter will be very thick.)

Drop batter into prepared muffin holes until about 2/3 to 3/4 full; bake until top is golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in muffin pan; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. (Or leave slightly warm to dip into glaze for easier preparation.)

While muffins are cooling, make glaze: Mix together powdered sugar, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and warm water in a small bowl (add another teaspoon of water if glaze is too thick).

Spread a thin layer of glaze over each muffin. Yields 1 muffin per serving.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nut-Crusted Mahi-Mahi

POINTS® Value: 4

Servings: 4

Preparation Time: 8 min

Cooking Time: 12 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Sounds fancy but it’s super easy and works well with just about any thin fish fillet and any kind of nuts. Try striped bass with pecans or salmon with pistachios.*


2 spray(s) cooking spray

3 Tbsp dry-roasted salted macadamia nuts, chopped

1/4 cup(s) dried bread crumbs, panko (Japanese variety)

2 Tbsp parsley, or cilantro, fresh, minced

3/4 tsp table salt, divided

1 pound(s) mahi mahi fillet(s), without skin

1 large egg white(s), whipped to soft peaks


Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray; place pan in oven to heat.
Place nuts, panko, parsley (or cilantro) and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mini chopper or blender; process until combined. Pour crumbs into a shallow bowl or plate; set aside.
Place fish on a plate; rub 1/2 teaspoon salt all over fish. Dip fish into egg white; turn to coat. Next, dip fish into nut mixture; turn to coat.
Remove pan from oven and place fish on pan. Roast until center of fish is no longer translucent, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately. Yields about 4 ounces fish per serving.


Garnish with salt and pepper if desired.
*Could affect POINTS values.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Stuffing with Sage and Chives

POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This stuffing is infused with the wonderful flavors of sage and chive. Whole wheat bread adds lots of healthy fiber.

1 spray(s) cooking spray
12 slice(s) whole-wheat bread, cubed*
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp light butter
1 cup(s) onion(s), diced
3 medium stalk(s) celery, diced
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 cup(s) canned chicken broth
2 Tbsp chives, fresh, chopped

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 4-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
Arrange bread cubes on a large ungreased baking sheet in a single layer (use 2 baking sheets if there’s not enough room). Bake until lightly toasted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bread from oven and set aside; leave oven set to 350ºF.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter together for 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and celery; sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper; stir to coat. Cook until herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute.

Transfer onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add bread, broth and chives; toss to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and cover with foil; bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Divide into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving. Notes*Leave the bread bag open and somewhat uncovered for 1 to 2 days (at room temperature) before making the recipe.

Feel free to substitute your favorite bread, such as whole grain, sourdough or a light variety (could affect POINTS values).

For added flavor, you can also add about 1 cup of diced Granny Smith or McIntosh apples to the stuffing (could affect POINTS values).

You can make this stuffing in advance and bake it just before serving. The stuffing will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as directed.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

POINTS® Value: 2

Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cooking Time: 40 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Works with Simply Filling A perfect pairing of flavors that makes a super side dish. You can also boil the cooked vegetables in broth and then puree the ingredients for fantastic soup.


1 spray(s) cooking spray

8 medium carrot(s), julienned

6 cup(s) parsnip(s), julienned

1 Tbsp thyme, fresh, minced (or to taste)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground (or to taste)

1 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a shallow nonstick roasting pan or baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place vegetables on prepared pan; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes; flip vegetables and roast until vegetables start to caramelize, about 10 to 20 minutes more. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.

Monday, November 02, 2009

3 Day of Dead Partying

So... I celebrated Halloween and the two Days of the Dead. It was fun, but now it's time to get my butt back in gear. I can't do the Fat Smash Diet only Weight Watchers points because I'm a little tight on money... but they Weight Watcher's point counting is highly affective. Once I have some money then I'll go back to the Fat Smash Diet foods...

I can't wait for tomorrow my body is dying to be back on some sort of regiment... is it possible I got use to eating healthy?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

1 Point Brownies

1-2 Points per serving
3/4 C. Unbleached flour
1/4 C.+ 2 Tbs. Cocoa powder
1 C. Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Salt (optional)
1/3 C. Unsweetened applesauce
3 Egg Whites
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C. Walnuts (optional, if used, brownies are 2 points)

Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt. Mix Well. Stir in applesauce, egg whites, and vanilla. Fold in nuts if desired.
Coat an 8" square pan with cooking spray. Spread batter evenly in the pan and bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes, or just until the edges are firm and the center is almost set.
Makes: 16 2" brownies using an 8x8 pan
Cal. 80, Fat 0 (.04 if using nuts), Protein 1.6g, Chol. 0mg, Sodium 25mg, Fiber .8g, Calcium 4mg, Potassium 32mg, Iron .5 mg

Borrowed from WW Recipes (