Friday, April 29, 2011

Chicken Pot Pocket

Per Serving (1/12 of recipe, 1 pocket): 3 points+ - 119 calories, 1.25g fat, 280mg sodium, 17g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 10g protein.

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 300 Under 300", page 176

This was another recipe that was a little bit time-consuming to make, but turned out great in the end.  It takes a while to fill and seal each pocket, and there are 12 to be made.  I had to set my 5-month-old in his walker to be entertained since you need both hands to make these, but he didn't get impatient until the last two were being made. 

The stats are different from the recipe on the website, and I think it is because the recipe from the book calls for much more chicken.  The one in the book calls for 12 oz of chicken, while the one online calls for only 2 oz - hardly any considering there are 12 pockets being made!  I think it is worth the extra point per pocket to have a decent amount of chicken.

I like using egg roll wrappers as a food pocket because they are easy to use, and there is no working with dough that won't stretch out enough or go into the correct shape.  All you do is wet the edges, put the filling in and fold it over the filling.  Fold over the three edges to seal, press down with a fork, and you have a perfectly shaped food pocket.

Everyone in my family enjoyed this recipe, including my 2-year-old.  I did cut his in half so he could get to the center easier, though.  The only thing about baking with egg roll wrappers is that the edges tend to come out a little chewy.  I don't have a problem with the texture, but my son is all about texture.  If the chicken or meat is too chewy or dry, he will spit it out.  If the veggies are too crunchy, he won't eat them, either.  But, the filling for these pockets were nice and moist, and everyone enjoyed them.  I ate three of them with a salad, and was definitely full.  I should probably have stopped at two, but they were so good, and I had the points available, so I splurged on a third one.

These definitely reminded me of eating a yummy, fatty chicken pot pie - for only 3 points+ each!  Nice!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crispity Crunchity Drumsticks

Per Serving (1/3 of recipe, 2 drumsticks): 5 points+ - 184 calories, 5g fat, 567mg sodium, 10.5g carbs, 5g fiber, <0.5g sugars, 28g protein.

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 300 Under 300", page 354

I had some chicken drumsticks that have been sitting in our freezer for a while that I haven't cooked because I thought they were too many points.  I came across this recipe and figured it was time to finally dethaw them.  I never thought to remove the skin to make them less points.  Duh!  That way you can still have seasoning or breading on the chicken, but don't have the extra fattening skin to eat or take off along with all the flavor. 

This recipe was really quick and easy.  I already had a bunch of Fiber One ground up into crumbs, so I eliminated that step (just use half as much crumbs than the amount of cereal the recipe calls for).  It was very similar to Shake N' Bake, in that you place the chicken in a ziploc bag with the breading and shake to coat.  There was plenty of breading, so it wasn't hard to coat all the pieces of chicken.  They came out nice and evenly coated, and cooked perfectly, too. 

The chicken turned out nice and crispy, and I actually felt as though I were eating fried chicken (not as greasy, but the flavor was there).  It was nice to eat drumsticks instead of chicken breast for a change.  The breading was a little bit too peppery for my taste, though, so next time I think I would cut the amount of pepper in half.  It did give it a nice spicy flavor, but I'm just not that fond of pepper as a main spice.  My husband asked me if it was coated with Fiber One, and when I said yes, he said he was getting tired of Fiber One.  I will be taking a break from Fiber One coated things for a little while so I don't completely turn him against it.  He said it wasn't that it tastes bad, the texture is just a little different.

*A note about the points.  On her website, HG states that this recipe is 4 points+, but in the book it is 5 points+.  The only difference in the stats is that there are 4.5g fat online, while in the book there are 5g fat.  I'm not sure which is correct, but I tend to use the higher points if I am ever unsure of the points of something.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pepperoni-Poppin' Veggie Calzones

Per Serving (1/5 of recipe, 1 calzone w/ sauce): 7 points+ - 279 calories, 5.25g fat, 946mg sodium, 44g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 8g sugars, 14g protein.

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 300 Under 300", page 238

When I originally set out to make these calzones, I was thinking to myself, "Is it really worth all of this effort to make a pizza pocket, when I could just heat up a frozen Lean Cuisine one for the same amount of points?".  Well, not only was it fun to make these individual calzones, but it was a favorite for everyone in my family, including my 2-year-old son.  The dough came out perfectly - soft, but not doughy - unlike the frozen versions that end up a little chewy around the edges.  And the filling had plenty of veggies and the right amount of pepperoni. 

It did take a little bit of time to assemble the calzones, so if you are looking for a quick dinner, this is not it.  I was also a little skeptical of using the Pillsbury pizza dough, since all of their doughs taste the same to me, but it ended up tasting great.  I had to have my husband open the dough for me, since I am a chicken when it comes to sudden, loud noises.  The pop you hear when you open one of those dough containers makes me jump every time.  He opened it for me like the good husband he is, and the pop was barely even audible this time.  He looked at me with his "really?!" look, like I was ridiculous for not opening it on my own.  Once I got the first calzone assembled, the rest were quicker.  It was a little difficult to eyeball 1/5 of the filling, but they all ended up being about the same size.  The dough was a little bit difficult to stretch out for each calzone, but with a little bit of work I got them stretched out to a big enough size without ripping.  When I was done, I was proud to say they all looked pretty good!

It was fun to eat something for dinner that tasted like pizza, but wasn't greasy or fattening.  We added a salad to the calzone to round out the meal.  Since I had plenty of points left for the day, I even went back for seconds, and so did my husband.  We actually had no leftovers, which rarely happens!

The only complaint I have is that there was not enough sauce for dipping.  I ended up opening a jar of marinara to use for dipping, and my husband and son also used ranch dressing to dip theirs in.  In the photo, the little amount of sauce in the cup is actually half of what was left for dipping in the recipe.  But, there are 5 calzones to eat!  You could definitely eat these without the sauce and they would still be good, but I like a lot of sauce.  For no extra points, you can have extra crushed tomatoes, or for one point you can have plenty of low-fat marinara on the side.  I opted for the extra point, since I wanted more sauce for my calzones.  Overall, a good dinner that I will be repeating in the future.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Darn you, Easter candy!

I should start by saying that I love chocolate.  I have very little willpower when it is around.  For this reason, I rarely keep any in the house, and will generally satisfy my chocolate craving with a Healthy Choice Fudge Bar, or anything else that comes in an individual serving size.  Unfortunately for me, it seems as though Easter has become a chocolate holiday.  My two-year-old son received about 5 Easter baskets this year - one from the Easter bunny, one from the daycare bunny, one from the little-girl-at-daycare bunny, one from the Grandma bunny, and another from the aunt-and-uncle bunny.  Needless to say, there is no way a 2-year-old can consume that much candy and chocolate.  The Easter bunny (my husband and I, of course) was nice enough to provide him with just a little bit of candy and a few toys.  All of the other bunnies, however, apparently thought he did not get enough chocolate from the Easter bunny, and therefore had to compensate with extra amounts of chocolate and candy.  My 5-month-old even got baskets with loads of candy from all the other bunnies, too.

I pretty much threw my healthy eating habits out the window all weekend.  It all started at my grandfather's funeral on Friday.  My Dad and my aunt ordered way too many sandwiches for the reception afterward, so I found myself taking a whole platter home (and some brownies, too - not a good idea on my part!).  Although the sandwiches were not too unhealthy, they were still probably about 8 points for each half, and I had quite a few over the weekend.  Then, Easter happened.  I followed my 2-year-old's lead and ate candy and chocolate for the majority of my meals.  I told myself it was just one day, and since my weigh-in that morning wasn't that bad (I gained a pound and a half, but I had an unusually low weigh-in the week before since I hadn't been eating much at all) I justified that it was okay. 

Then Monday came.  I was determined to eat better, and even made a Hungry Girl dinner of spaghetti pie.  The only thing was, I was still finishing up those darn sandwiches, so my lunch was higher points than usual.  Then, I made the spaghetti pie with real noodles instead of the Shiritaki noodles, which caused it to be more points than usual.  I was already maxed out, and ended up going over my daily points with chocolate egg candies - one after another.  My plan was to limit myself to 5 candies.  They are each 1 point+ a piece, so I figured that wouldn't be too damaging.  Well, I had those 5 candies, but I wanted more later on in the evening.  I eventually lost track, and ended up extending my weekend of binging into Monday, something I never do! 

So, today is Tuesday.  I have so far eaten oatmeal, Fiber One yogurt, coffee and a banana for a total of 6 points+.  For snack I have Kashi crackers and strawberries for 3 points+, and for lunch I have leftover spaghetti pie, fruit, crackers, and a Fiber One Bar for 10 points+.  That leaves me with 24 points for dinner and dessert.  I am hoping it is not too many points to open up the chocolate floodgates.  Sometimes I feel like my 43 daily points are too many for me.  I end up with excess at the end of the day, and usually fill my extra points with extra dessert.  And, since I get those extra points because I am nursing, I should really be eating more healthy foods instead of just more dessert.  I do eat a lot of fruit throughout the day, though, so I can probably safely stay below my daily points limit without it affecting my nursing.  So, tonight I will try my best to not eat any chocolate and will stick with my Healthy Choice Fudge Bar instead.  Wish me luck!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Super-simple Tropical Sorbet

Per Serving (entire recipe): 2 points+ - 76 calories, <0.5g fat, 0mg sodium, 16g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 14g sugars, 2g protein.

The recipe: "Hungry Girl - Recipes and Strategies...", page 204

This recipe was very easy to make.  My toddler and I shared a bowl, since the portion size was pretty big.  All you have to do is combine a cup of canned light peaches, 1 small packet (2 servings) orange Crystal Light, and 1/2 cup of water in the blender, and voila!  You have sorbet!  The only downfall is that you have to wait for it to freeze for several hours, so you can't eat it right away - something that is difficult for a toddler to deal with! 

We put the sorbet in the freezer, and once it was slushy enough, we dug in.  My son said it was good, but I thought it was a little too sweet (probably why he thought it was so good!).  It tasted mostly like peaches and orange flavoring mixed together - not exactly "tropical" in my opinion.  It was, however, a low points dessert, which I can definitely appreciate.  I made two batches since it was so easy to make.

The only thing that you have to watch out for is that it hardens to an ice-cube-like hardness if you let it freeze overnight.  I checked on it in the morning, and found this out first-hand.  I imagine when I go to eat the second batch that I had made, it will take a while to soften up before I can eat it.  I will also probably need help from my son to finish it again, since it was so sweet.  But, not a bad dessert for the points.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Planet Hungrywood Sweet & Cap'n Crunchy Chicken

Per serving (1/2 of recipe): 5 points+ - 234 calories, 2g fat, 617mg sodium, 23.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugars, 29g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 54

Wow, so this is now my favorite Hungry Girl recipe so far.  I immediately had requests by my husband to make this again, and I had to agree that it was a delicious meal.  My mother-in-law, who was over for dinner, also said it was good (she generally doesn't seem to like my cooking, so it was definitely a complement that she liked it).  I would never have thought to make chicken breaded with Captain Crunch cereal of all things.  It ended up being so good!  It had the perfect amount of sweetness, but with the added Fiber One cereal, garlic powder, and onion powder it still kept it savory. 

Like the chicken parmesan I made, I had to make sure the heat was not too hot so the cereal didn't burn.  I ended up cooking it for a little longer than the recipe called for to make sure the chicken was all the way cooked.  It came out great - the chicken was nice and juicy, and the breading was perfectly crispy. 

This recipe was a little bit labor-intensive, especially if you don't have the Fiber One cereal pre-crushed, like I did.  It takes time to make the breading, and then dip each piece in egg substitute, then the breading, then cook it.  I have a container that I keep in the pantry with pre-crushed Fiber One.  If you go that route, all you have to do is use half the amount of Fiber One crumbs than cereal that is called for in the recipe.  It definitely saves time, so I suggest making the crumbs ahead of time if you make a lot of Hungry Girl recipes.

Overall, I think you should make this recipe.  Your family will love it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slush-Puppy Pineapple Lemonade

Per serving (entire recipe): 2 points+ - 87 calories, 0g fat, 10mg sodium, 22.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 18g sugars, 0.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 194

I decided to make this since I had leftover crushed pineapple from the Teriyaki Shrimp 'n Slaw Stir-Fry.  I had enough for three drinks - one for each of us.  These are super easy to make, and only took a minute or two to throw together.  Just put 1 cup ice, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, 1 packet Splenda, and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice in the blender and blend.  I made the first one for my 2-year-old to see if he liked it.  He told me it was yummy and that he liked it.  Great!  I made one for my husband and one for myself, and used up just about all of the pineapple.  No waste, yeah!

The best part of these drinks were that they were only 2 points+ each.  The serving size was nice - not too much, not too little.  They were nice and refreshing, and I will definitely be making these as a cool summer treat. 

The only complaint I have is that the pineapple overpowered the lemon flavor.  For something called pineapple-lemonade, there wasn't much of a lemonade taste to it.  Next time, I will probably add a little extra lemon, since all it called for was a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Otherwise, it was a perfect after-dinner treat, especially for the points.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teriyaki Shrimp 'n Slaw Stir-Fry

Per Serving (1/3 of recipe, about 1 1/3 cups): 5 points+ - 210 calories, 2g fat, 884mg sodium, 21g carbs, 4.25g fiber, 7.5g sugars, 26.5g protein.

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 268

This recipe was pretty tasty, but I probably won't be making it again.  It tasted like a pretty good teriyaki stir-fry, but with more effort than I think is necessary.  It would be much easier, and not many more points (maybe 1 more points+) to just use a bottled teriyaki sauce that has low calories and fat.  This recipe called for making your own sauce and adding it to the stir-fried broccoli slaw and shrimp. 

It was nice in theory to have fresh teriyaki sauce, but the flavoring was not much better than a bottled sauce.  My husband, who is not a fan of stir-fries in general, did not like it much and ended up making something else for dinner.  I thought it was fine, but I will just make my shrimp stir-fry with a bunch of veggies and a bottled sauce next time.  I feel as though I could get a larger serving size than what was in this recipe for about the same points that way.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bowling For Pizza

Per serving (entire bowl): 7 points+ - 284 calories, 7g fat, 1,025mg sodium, 28.5g carbs, 9.25g fiber, 11g sugars, 30.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 36

After a very stressful week, I am getting back on track with my points, cooking, and everything.  My grandfather passed away last Thursday afternoon after hanging on for four days, so now things are starting to get back to normal again.  I ate very poorly last week, and even had several meals of fast food since I had no time to cook with everything that was going on.  I was shocked to discover that I had actually lost four pounds!  My husband pointed out that even though I was eating unhealthy, I wasn't eating much.  So, my lack of appetite is probably what saved me.  Thankfully, I am not an emotional eater.  The opposite happens to me when I am stressed or upset.  My stomach feels like it is in knots, and the last thing on my mind is food.  Now I am pretty much back to my regular self, and I will have to make sure I eat well this week or else I may actually gain weight - especially with such a large weight loss this past week.

Well, on to the recipe review.  I have been craving pizza recently, which is unusual for me since I don't like pizza all that much.  It has to have a lot of sauce on it and a really greasy crust for me to like it, so I generally stay away from pizza.  But, I saw this recipe and decided to give it a shot. 

This "pizza" is more like a very chunky spaghetti sauce.  It has no crust and is just a bunch of potential pizza toppings combined in a bowl together (and yes, that is a bowl in the picture.  It is hard to tell from the angle!).  That is not to say I didn't like it.  It tasted fine, but was definitely not the most exciting meal.  I made a bowl for my husband and son, and neither were very impressed.  They ended up having something else for dinner, and I was left with two more pizza bowls to eat as leftovers for lunch at work.  

I did like the fact that the portion size was large.  It filled up the bowl nicely, and I was pretty full after eating it.  There were tons of veggies, and even had an entire Boca burger patty and several turkey peperoni slices in it as well.  I just didn't feel as though I was eating pizza.  I almost made some spaghetti noodles to put the contents on top of, but the points would have been way too high.  I probably will not be making this meal again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A bad week

Since I am just starting this blog, I had really wanted to post something every day so I could get a good collection of recipe reviews going.  That all came to a screeching halt when my grandfather went ill on Sunday. My grandfather has been in an assisted living facility for the past three months because he can no longer get up to walk around on his own.  Apparently, he was sent home last Thursday because he was becoming more and more ill and they could no longer do anything for him.  In other words, he was sent home to die at home.  However, no one told me this!!!

My father lives in a guest house on our property, and my grandparents live on the property behind ours. We even have a walking gate connecting our property to theirs. On Sunday, my husband and I walked over to my grandparents' house to visit on Sunday with the kids.  Since my grandmother has been alone, we have been trying to make more of an effort to visit her on the weekends with the kids.  It always cheers her up to see them, and she especially loves babies.  When we got there, my aunt (who lives with my uncle on another adjacent property) informed me that my grandfather was home and wasn't looking good. 

I went back to his room to visit, and was shocked to find him completely out of it.  I was holding our four-month-old and he opened his eyes when he heard the baby cry out.  They were completely glassy, though, and he could not respond or talk to me.  I cried because I knew then that he was dying.  Then, an hour after we got back home, my husband got a call that his grandfather had just passed away.  Ugh!  What a rough day!

Since Monday evening, my grandfather has been either comatose or sleeping, I really don't know.  Every night we say our goodbyes because we are not sure if he will pass away during the night.  Hospice has been there the past three days to administer morphine and methadone and at least keep him comfortable, but we are pretty much just waiting for him to take his last breath.  He is 90 years old, and has had a good life.  I think death is difficult to deal with no matter what the circumstances, though.

So, needless to say, I haven't done much cooking this week!  I have no idea about my points because my eating is so off right now.  I will be interested to see if I have lost weight this week or not.  Sometimes I am not hungry and don't eat much at all, but when I do eat it has either been fast food or something quick from the fridge.  I have still been going to work except for Tuesday, so at least my eating is managed while I am there (I bring food to work and never eat out for lunch).

I hope I didn't depress whoever might be reading this too much!  It has just been very emotionally draining this week and I had to get it out somehow.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pan-Fried Chicken Parm

Per Serving (4oz cutlet with sauce and cheese): 6 points+ - 258 calories, 6g fat, 684mg sodium, 16.5g carbs, 7g fiber, 1g sugars, 38.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 60

I love chicken parmesan, so this recipe really called out to me.  Actually, I love eggplant parmesan even more, but my husband won't touch anything I make with eggplant in it.  He must have had a bad experience with some poorly-made eggplant dish once, and now he insists he hates all eggplant!  Anyway, I decided to make this, which is my first time using Fiber One as a breading, or "faux frying", as Hungry Girl calls it. 

I was actually impressed by how good my chicken came out.  I must confess, sometimes I get distracted by the two kids while cooking, and my meals will come out overcooked or even slightly burnt.  Probably because I knew I would be photographing my food for this blog, I paid more attention to what I was doing.  The chicken was nice and moist, and I didn't burn the Fiber One coating at all.  Yippee!  It did take longer to cook than what the recipe called for, though.  Perhaps I didn't pound the chicken into thin enough cutlets?  Also, my shredded reduced fat mozzarella didn't melt into a nice gooey pile like the picture in the cookbook.  The cheese melted, but I could still see the individual shreds of cheese on top.  I do have to say that there was a nice-sized portion of cheese for each cutlet - a whole 1/4 cup.  Nice!

To round out the meal, I made a zero point salad, with 2 points+ ranch dressing (the new Litehouse Ranch with Kefir Yogurt - yum!).

Both my husband and I liked this meal, and he has already put in his request for me to make it again in the near future.  The coating on the chicken was nicely seasoned with the perfect amount of italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper.  The tomato sauce and the cheese on top really made it feel as though we were eating restaurant-style chicken parmesan.  I could tell the coating was made with Fiber One, however.  It had that high-fiber, slightly chewy texture you get with bread and cereal that is very, well, fibrous. I don't mind the texture, though, and my husband said he didn't, either.  But, if you are weird about foods that have a high-fiber texture, you might not like this chicken much.

My husband also said he thought the tomato sauce tasted odd, but I didn't have a problem with it at all.  It did taste different from traditional spaghetti sauce, since it was made from canned tomato sauce with italian seasoning in it.  I thought it worked well with the combination of flavors from the breaded chicken and the cheese.

I will definitely be making this again the next time we get another craving for some good italian food.  I know this chicken parmesan has MUCH less calories than the chicken parmesan from the italian resaurant down the street!  And it still tastes great!

Upside-Down Personal Key Lime Pie

Per Serving (1 "pie"): 2 points+ - 82 calories, 1g fat, 103mg sodium, 15g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 1g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 230

More than any other food, dessert is definitely my weakness.  I have a very big sweet tooth, and feel completely deprived if I don't have at least something sweet after dinner.  I am always looking for a yummy dessert that satisfies my craving for something sweet, but doesn't have a ton of calories.  Usually I opt for single-serving ice cream bars, like Healthy Choice Fudge Bars, Skinny Cow Truffle Bars, or Weight Watchers Bars.  I find that if I get single-serving items, I'm not tempted to sit there and eat a huge bowl of ice cream.  Even if I buy the slow-churned half gallon of ice cream, I find myself having more than just one serving and going over my points for the day.  Chocolate is an especially big weakness of mine, and I am always on the hunt for a satisfying, low point chocolate dessert.

I decided to try this dessert because it is only 2 points+, and because I love key lime pie.  I sat down to eat it with my 2-year-old son to see if it received his stamp of approval.  It did!

While it tasted more like a lime jello concoction than key lime pie, it was still good nonetheless.  It was sweet, fluffy, with crunchy graham crackers on top.  Since it was already mixed with Cool Whip, I didn't feel the need to add additional whipped topping or whipped cream on top.  My son "ate it all gone", as he said, and I did, too!  I would make this again if I was in the mood for jello, but not if I was craving key lime pie.


As I have said before, this is my third time doing Weight Watchers, and is hopefully the last.  I am excited about losing the weight this time, especially since I know I will not be getting pregnant again and can lose the baby weight once and for all (my husband has already gotten "fixed" so we don't have to worry about any accidents - or blessings, however you want to look at it). 

I have recently lost some of the motivation I had when first starting WW this time.  I got down to 158 pounds after 10 weeks of continuous weight loss.  I guess I got a little overconfident in my weight loss, because it was then that I got lazy with the food journaling.  Actually, I didn't do any journaling for the next two weeks.  Not surprisingly, I gained a few of the pounds back, and found myself back up to 161.5 at the end of those two weeks.  I didn't even feel as though I had been eating poorly.  I think it was just that some of my poor eating habits were creeping back - such as finishing the last few bites off of my toddler's plate (I wouldn't want to waste any food, now would I?), not measuring portion sizes, and having a late-night snack before bed. 

I guess I am fortunate the damage was only three and a half pounds.  I am just really disappointed in myself that I was back in the 160's after I was so sure that I would never see those numbers again.  Instead of giving up, I took a fresh look at my eating habits, and began food journaling in detail again.  I started reading a ton of weight loss and food blogs for inspiration.  I even decided to start writing this blog - partly because I thought it would be fun, but also to hold myself accountable in my weight loss journey. 

Now, after a week of being back on plan, I weighed in at 159.5 this morning. Hopefully this time I can stay in the 150's and keep moving towards the 140's.  I never want to see the 160's again!  Once I get down to my goal weight of 145, I figure that will be enough of a cushion to be able to make that happen.  I was in the 160's when I got pregnant with my first child, and feel like I keep getting stuck at that weight.  I think once I make it over this hump, I will mentally feel as though I can do this!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sloppy Franks

Per 1/2 cup serving with a bun: 5 points+ 
170 calories, 2g fat, 1,097mg sodium, 31.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 8g sugars, 10g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 256

I decided to make this recipe because I figured this was for sure something my 2-year-old son would like.  Hungry Girl even says in the description, "This one's a hit with men and kids".  Unfortunately, not with my family.  This is a very easy recipe, though - it is just 1/2 cup onions, 1/2 cup red bell pepper, and 6 fat free hot dogs sauteed together.  Add a 15.5 ounce can of Manwich Sauce, heat, and, voila! You have a meal!  

What I didn't realize is that I don't like Manwich Sauce, and either does my husband or my son.  I grew up with my parents making the kind of sloppy joes that came from a seasoning packet by Lawry's, I think.  Just add tomato paste, water, and ground beef and you have sloppy joes.  Now those were good!  Manwich - not so good.  It is very tangy and overpowers any other flavors you add to it.  You can barely taste the hot dogs, onions, or bell peppers - all you can taste is the tangy Manwich Sauce.  I will definitely not be making this recipe again.

The worst part is that when I bought the Manwich Sauce, it was on sale for $1/can.  I bought three cans when I saw how low of points it was, and am now stuck with two cans of something I don't like.  Oh, well.  I'll figure out something to do with them.  I will also end up eating the leftovers, since I know my husband or son won't, and I hate wasting food.  There were six servings total, and we ate four tonight.  Only two more left!  I'll probably eat both for a 10 point lunch tomorrow.   

So, if you like Manwich Sauce for your sloppy joe's, then you will like this recipe.  Otherwise, skip it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Slow Cookin' BBQ Chicken

Per 1/2 cup serving: 3 points+ - 149 calories, 1g fat, 462mg sodium, 10g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 9g sugars, 22.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3" cookbook, page 174

Today I made Hungry Girl's Slow-Cookin' BBQ Chicken from the Hungry Girl 1-2-3 book. Since I was home all day, I figured I should make one of the crock pot recipes - something I don't have the luxury of doing when I'm at work.  This recipe was pretty easy.  I just threw the ingredients in the crock pot to make the BBQ sauce, added and covered the chicken, and 3 1/2 hours later I had BBQ chicken.  It did take some time to shred the chicken once it was done, but luckily the timing was perfect and both kids were napping when it was time to shred.

The chicken turned out VERY good.  The sauce was a perfect combination of tangy and sweet, and the chicken was nice and tender.  I decided to eat mine on an Orowheat (or Arnold's) sandwich thin.  Both my husband and I loved it - definitely a recipe I would make again.  And, happily, it made 7 half-cup servings. At only 3 points+ per serving, I ended up having two servings of the chicken with plenty of points left over for dessert (the picture shows one serving on a sandwich thin).  I didn't eat two buns, though, since those are also 3 points each.  This one's a winner!  Yum!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A little bit about me

All right, so here is my first blog ever.  I was so inspired by all the other food and weight loss blogs that I have been reading, that I decided to start my own.  I thought about what I might want to write about for a while, and got the idea for this blog while I was ordering the new Hungry Girl Cookbook, "300 under 300".
I realized that I have become somewhat obsessed with Hungry Girl recipes, not only because most of them are fun and easy to make, but also because they make me feel as though I am not watching my calories.  Some of the recipes even make me feel like I am eating junk food, and definitely satisfy my cravings for these foods.  I can eat what I feel like I would not normally be able to, while still staying on plan with Weight Watchers. A win-win if I do say so!

The test of each recipe usually comes when my husband and two-year-old son try it.  If they both like it, then I know we have a winner.  I, on the other hand, hate wasting food.  So, even if none of us like it, I will usually manage to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day or two at work.  I figure if that is all I have to eat for lunch, then my choice is to eat the not-so-good leftovers, or go hungry.  Luckily, most of her recipes are very good, so I rarely have the problem of eating something I am not fond of.

I am currently on my third and (hopefully) final journey of weight loss.  My first was when I was only 9 years old.  I had gotten a little chubby, and my mother decided to start counting my calories over the summer and make me lose the weight.  I was more aware of what was going on than she may have thought, and unfortunately I became very self-conscious of my weight from then on.  I remember returning to school in the fall hoping that no one would comment about my weight loss.  To me, it was not a complement for someone to say how good I looked.  Instead, it was a reference to the fact that I used to be fat.  I was horrified if anyone brought it up, and would become completely embarrassed at any mention of my weight loss.  Luckily, the comments didn't last long, and everything returned to normal shortly after.  Everything except for my body image.  I was now aware that I had been fat, and from then on was paranoid about becoming fat again.

I managed to keep most of the weight off through high school, college, and even my twenties.  I would occasionally gain and lose the same 15 pounds, but would always manage to return to my previous weight with a little bit of exercise and watching what I ate.  It wasn't until I got married and had my first child that I really had to work to lose the weight.  Before I got married, I lost those 15 pounds that kept creeping onto my body.  Since I had been depriving myself for several months before the wedding, I completely pigged out on our honeymoon.  It was so nice to not have to worry about fitting into that dress anymore!  Plus, we were at an all-inclusive resort where we could eat and drink to our heart's content.  Eight days later, I came home 10 pounds heavier.  The weight slowly crept on during the first 9 months of our marriage, where I then got pregnant while at the heaviest weight I had ever been.  Once I finally gave birth, I was 70 pounds heavier than I wanted to be.  Luckily, the first 20 pounds melted off quickly, but a year later, my wedding ring still didn't fit and either did most of my old clothes.  My lack of motivation to lose the weight came from the fact that I knew I would be getting pregnant again in the future.  But, after my husband continued to bug me to get my wedding ring re-sized so I could wear it, I decided I should probably lose at least some of the weight before getting pregnant again. I turned to Weight Watchers and lost 30 more pounds before getting pregnant again. 

So, now I am on my third and final weight loss journey.  I had my second son four months ago, and I am determined to lose the rest of the baby weight by summer.  Here is me with only 20 pounds left to go!

My husband and I are not planning on having any more children, so I was looking forward to getting back to my old body.  This time, as soon as I got clearance from my OB at my six-week postnatal appointment, I started the new Points+ program from Weight Watchers.  I was a little annoyed at the change in the points system at first, since I could no longer glance at something and easily figure out the points.  I actually had to put the information into my Points+ calculator, making grocery trips take forever - not an easy task with a newborn!  But, a few months and 25 pounds later, I have gotten the hang of it.  I now have 15 more pounds to go to be at my goal weight of 145 pounds. This time, I am really enjoying my new eating habits and feel like I will stay at my goal weight permanently. Part of the reason is thanks to Hungry Girl. Her recipes are fun to make and eat.  I'm here to tell you which ones are good.