Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another tasty recipe...

Bob was out of town for overnight so tonight I only had to feed myself. I LOVE chicken so I decided to try this healthy recipe from Marilyn S., a friend of mine.

Bruschetta chicken [on the lower part of the photo]. I added a smashed baked potato with broccoli, cheese and sour cream and had a wonderful meal.

The potato was two organic yellow potatoes which together weighed 7 oz, raw. I poked them with a fork and nuked them in my microwave for 3 minutes. Then before serving I smashed them with a cup and peeled away the top bit of skin. I topped them with some left over broccoli, low fat cheese and 1 T of low fat sour cream. For Weight Watchers, that is 5 pp+ for the potato, 0 for the sour cream and I used 1 oz total of the low fat cheese for the potato and the chicken, so that is 2 points for that.

For the chicken, I put my Carhartt sweatshirt on and went out and fired up the grill. It was starting to rain so I am glad we are KY hicks and have our grill on our covered front porch.

For one person:
 1 boneless-skinless chicken breast, pounded slightly to even out thickness marinated in 1T Italian dressing. I used fat free Italian [it is what I had on hand] and added 1 tsp olive oil to it and put it all in a zip lock bag. Marinate at least 10 minutes. My chicken weighed 7 oz raw, so that is 6 pp+ total, 5 for the chicken and 1 for the healthy fat.

Bruschetta topping--Mix together in bowl:
1/2 - 1 tomato, finely chopped {I used a whole Roma}
2T oz mozzarella cheese {I used low fat and used 1 oz total for potato and chicken combined}
1T chopped fresh basil
garlic powder--optional

Heat grill to med [around 350 degrees] and cover 1/2 with foil sprayed with PAM.  Put chicken on uncovered 1/2 of grill and cook 6 minutes with the lid down. Turn chicken over onto the foil and top with the Bruchetta topping, grill with lid down for 8 minutes more until done.  I just used my timer and set it for the appointed minutes and didn't peek. It was done perfectly when the timer went off.

My total meal: 13 WW Points plus, and that included 1 healthy oil, a couple of veggies, lean protein and tasted great. It was also a LOT of food and was incredibly filling.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brownie Batter Pancakes...

  I have been looking for new recipes that are low fat and tasty and came across this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie . I made some this morning and decided I would make a few changes, but this was a fun and delicious way to enjoy breakfast. This is for one large serving and it is 4 Weight Watcher Points+, but that includes 1/3 serving of milk. So, drink 2/3 cup milk and for 5 points you have breakfast and get in one dairy. I topped mine with a sliced banana and 1 tsp maple syrup. The banana adds some fiber and really fills you up.

Brownie Batter Pancakes

Servings: 1 • Size: 6-8 silver-dollar pancakes  4 WW Points+
  • 1/4 cup flour [3 pts]
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda [if using buttermilk or yogurt]
  • 1 Tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder (or dutch cocoa)
  • 1  tsp sugar pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C skim milk, non fat yogurt, nondairy milk of your choice [1 pt]


Mix dry ingredients very well, then add wet and stir in with a fork till everything is mixed together. Spray a medium hot frying pan with PAM [I like to use cast iron] and fry small bits of batter at a time. I did mine in about 2-3 batches and sprayed lightly between batches. There are only 130 calories in this entire recipe.  I add once sliced banana and 1 tsp maple syrup or  you could add 1 tsp of Hershey's chocolate syrup [no points] and omitted the sugar in the recipe. 2T of canned [under pressure] whipped cream would be wonderful and adds no points.

Take Care,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I am Billy...

 I have been walking every day, trying to increase my fitness level while reducing my weight. When I got stuck in my weight loss a couple of weeks back I decided I really needed to get serious about more exercise.

Instead of just doing the same route every day, I decided I would walk a certain amount of time. With Weight Watchers, I need to walk fast [3-5 mph] for 11 minutes to earn one activity point. With trepidation I increased my goal  from 12 to 21 points a week.

So far, so good. I walk like mad and then look and see how long I have been walking. I don't have a pedometer because everyone I have ever had has either dropped off my pants, landed in the toilet, been stepped or sat on. They just don't stay on all day and if I am going to use one I like to use the step counter feature and keep it on all day. [Do you know that when I am working in the Sonlight booth at convention I log around 10 miles in one day!]

At any rate this week I found a neat tracking tool on I put in my zip code and can plot the route I took that day, put in the number of minutes and my weight and it tells me how far I walked, the rate of speed and how many calories I burned. It is very encouraging to see that I burn around 400 calories a day-and truth be told, probably more because of  all the hills around here.

The funny thing is, my route looks exactly like the one that Billy made above. I just about get home, look at the timer in my pocket and realize that I need to go 8 more minutes. So, I backtrack, maybe walk up and over the bridge over the rail road tracks, then come back. Or I walk all the way to the Veteran's Center, backtrack, then walk out by the college and around town, stopping at the IGA to pick up bananas or onions or something. 

So, I am Billy. Inquisitive, going where I will, and burning 400 or more calories a day in the process. Life is kind of like a circus, after all.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Low Fat Moist Scones...

I mentioned before that I love scones and also that I am on Weight Watchers and that I love to bake. Today I really wanted a scone so I modified a recipe I had and made some fantastic, low fat, low point orange-chocolate chip scones that are chewy and delicious.

A lot of  people don't like scones because many are dry and not very tasty. These are moist, a bit chewy [at least when warm] and are bursting with flavor.

I made a small recipe, but you could easily double this.

Orange-Chocolate Chip Scones

5 scones, 4 WW+ points; 7 scones, 3 WW+ points [I cut mine into 5 pieces]

Put these ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir to combine:
  • 1/2 C baking flour
  • 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 2T white sugar [you may want to save out 1 tsp to sprinkle on top just before baking]
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of one small orange or 1/2 tsp dried orange peel
  • 1/4 C mini chocolate chips
Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the yogurt and stir till it makes a ball. May be sticky.

  • 1/2 C -5/8C fat free vanilla or plain yogurt. {I used organic Trader Joe French Vanilla Yogurt}
Mixture will be sticky. Put some flour on your counter top and turn dough onto floured surface, turning a few times to make it so it isn't so sticky. Form into a ball, then pat down till it is about 7" in diameter, about 1" thick. Cut into 5 or 7 wedges and then place the wedges on a greased baking sheet.  If you reserved a1 tsp of sugar, sprinkle it on now. [I put the dough on the baking sheet, then cut and separate the wedges so they are about 1" apart, no edges touching.]

Bake about 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with hot tea or cold milk.

You can vary this recipe, leaving out the chocolate chips. If you leave out the chocolate chips you can reduce points by 1 per scone. You could add fresh berries, well drained, you could leave out chips and orange peel and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. You could add dried fruit like cherries or cranberries. This basic recipe can be used a lot of ways.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Favorite Breakfast...

 I really like to spend time in the kitchen. I guess I love to bake the most-and I also love to eat what I bake, so that isn't always a good thing!

Lately I have been trying to come up with some breakfasts that are hot, filling, healthy, don't take too long and don't have too many Weight Watcher points, which are based on protein, fat, carbs and fiber.  When it comes down to it one point is about 40 calories.

So, this is the ticket. Fried polenta with a touch of maple syrup, cinnamon, a banana and berries. Heavenly and only 3 Weight Watcher points [and that includes 1 healthy fat and a few fruits].

I buy my polenta already made up in  tube-like packaging at Trader Joe's but you could make it yourself. It is only corn meal, salt and water, boiled.  I have made this recipe which works well. We don't have a TJ close, but Bob goes to Columbus fairly often and picks it up for me then. What I like about the TJ polenta is that it doesn't have to be refrigerated until after you open it, so he can get me a few packages and I just put it in the pantry.

Mix together in a sauce pan:
 4 C of water
1 C ground cornmeal
1 tsp salt

Whisk together, bring to a boil, reduce heat and stir constantly till thick. It should be thick enough for a wooden spoon to stand up in it. Pour into 2 oiled small bread pans, or 1 large bread pan.After it sets you can remove from the pan and wrap it in plastic. It keeps in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks.

At any rate, once you have polenta, heat 1 tsp of healthy oil, like olive oil in a frying pan till hot. Slice off 4 oz of  polenta and fry for a few minutes on each side [Polenta is about 1 point per 2 oz]. I sprinkle with cinnamon on both sides. [With the round Trader Joe polenta I slice off  four 1 ounce slices [about 3/8 inch thick]. Fry till crispy.

When hot and crispy, place on plate and I let any extra oil drip on the polenta, and top with 1 whole sliced banana, 1 tsp maple syrup, berries and 2T whipped cream from a can. Usually I don't have berries, but I ran into a fabulous sale last week at Meijer. Using just a banana is also delicious.

This is a fabulous breakfast, only 3 WW+ points and it is filling. Add a cup of hot tea--ahh heavenly.

Take care,

[As a note, the new Weight Watchers plan doesn't have any limit on fruit, so all  fruit is 0 points. Also 1 tsp maple syrup is 0 points and 2 T whipped cream from a can is 0 points. I used to put 1 T maple syrup on it, which is lovely, but that adds 1 point and I decided that it wasn't worth it to me. Total WW+ points, 3]

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tea Time with Grandma...

If you know me you know that when I talk about my favorite way to relate to folks it always comes down to to tea and scones at the kitchen table. So it was a real treat today to be able to have tea-time with my granddaughter Allison.

She had milk, as you can see from the sippy cup, but we both enjoyed the chocolate chip scones made from a recipe I got from 

We had a great time and it meant a lot to me to be able to share my favorite things with one of my favorite people.

In other milestones, Allison learned to play the harmonica today...and by playing I mean she can blow and get a sound out if it. About every 4-5 times she blows she hands it to Bob to wipe on his pants to get the slobber out of it. Gross!

What a fun way to spend a Thursday!
Take care,