Monday, March 09, 2009

The Ultimate WW Recipe Post

I have been pecking at this post for a while now. There are a bunch of us at church and preschool currently on the Weight Watchers program. I {heart} Weight Watchers so much. I have been on the program several times and have been successful...and then had a major life-changing experience (marriage, baby, etc) that caused me to fall off the WW wagon. But, I am truly excited to be a "loser" again. I am working the program a little differently this time around...making sure to use every point given to me so it is an actual life-style change, not just a diet.

On my previous WW round in 2005-2006, I was thrilled to have lost 75 pounds. And there were many, many WW recipes that I came to just enjoy so much that helped me achieve that loss. Several of my blog friends and "real life" friends have asked for me to post some of my faves. I would love to do that. The problem is that I now have so many faves from over the years, that this will take more than just one post. Honestly, our little family eats these meals even when we are not on the program. They don't taste like you're missing out on anything. They are recipes for life!

My intention is to try to post a recipe (or hopefully more) once a week (this may be easier come May).  I am thinking Weight Watcher Wednesday might be a sort of fun little weekly post. Although today isn't Wednesday, I would love to go ahead and share a few of our family faves with you today! 

The manicotti is actually the one I took to the class potluck at church last weekend.

Shrimp Fried Rice with Edamame
(We just tried this last week so I snapped a few photos. It was the perfect fix for our Panda Express cravings-- even better being homemade! We had this with Mr. Chang's spring rolls, from the freezer section at Wal-mart. They were only 2 points each. This was from the Weight Watchers Annual Recipes for Success 2006 Cookbook.)

As PW would say...the cast of characters

2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, coursely chopped
1 teaspoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
4 cups jasmine or other white rice, cooked according to package directions (can be chilled after cooked because chilled rice doesn't stick together when stir-frying)
1 cup fully-cooked shelled edamame
1/2 cup shredded carrot (about 1 medium) I actually used the little carrot sticks and shredded them in a mini food processor. 
1/3 cup chopped green onions (about 3 onions)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1. Heat peanut oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large nonstick skillet. Add shallots and egg; stir-fry 30 seconds or until egg is soft-scrambled. Add shrimp and ginger, stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Add rice and next 4 ingredients, and stir-fry 1 minute.

2. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil.
YIELD: 6 servings (serving size 1 1/3 cups)

POINTS value: 7 per serving

Spinach Manicotti
(from the Weight Watchers Annual Recipes for Success 2003 Cookbook)

8 manicotti shells, uncooked
1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup (1.3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained & squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white
2 1/2 cups low-fat roasted garlic pasta sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse.
3. Combine ricotta cheese and next eight ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon mixture evenly into pasta shells. Place shells in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon pasta sauce evenly over shells. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm. YIELD: 8 servings (serving size: 1 shell and about 1/2 cup sauce).

POINTS value: 4 points per serving.

Huevos Rancheros
(We love this one! It is a great Sunday lunch that is quick, easy and doesn't require much prep work. Sometimes we substitute the corn tortillas with flour and make it more of a burrito, this also adds a point. For a hearty supper, we have even added an additional 2 eggs, again adding an additional 2 points per serving. This recipe is from my tried and true Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.)

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles (do not drain)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (sometimes I even skip this to avoid chopping)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons shredded 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green onions (optional)

1. Combine first eight ingredients in a non-stick skillet; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes.
2. Warm tortillas according to package directions.
3. Break each egg into a small bowl or custard cup and slip egg from bowl into tomato mixture (try not to break the yolk). Cover and simmer seven minutes or until eggs are done; remove eggs with a slotted spoon. Place tortillas on individual plates; top with half of tomato mixture and one egg. Sprinkle each with one tablespoon cheese and one tablespoon green onions.

POINTS value: 6 points per serving

Chocolate Eclair Cake
(YUM. I make this one all the time, even when I'm not on WW. I used to bring it to sorority in Muleshoe and it is always a hit at a church potluck. It's just rich & tasty. And makes me smile. Your friends won't think for a minute that it's low-fat. It's from that same favorite: Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.)
1 box low-fat honey graham crackers (at least 22 1/2 sheets)
cooking spray
3 cups fat free (skim) milk
2 (3.4-ounce) packages sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (8-ounce) tub fat-free cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1. Arrange 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 3 cups milk, pudding mixes, and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat at low speed on mixer 1 minute or until thick. Fold in whipped topping. Spread half of pudding mixture over graham crackers in dish, and top with 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets. Repeat procedure with remaining half of pudding mixture and 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets.
2. Combine 1/4 milk, butter, honey, and chocolate in a medium bowl, and beat well with mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar to chocolate mixture; beat well. Spread chocolate glaze over graham crackers. Cover dessert and chill for at least four hours. YIELD: 18 servings (serving size: 1 [3x2-inch] square).

POINTS value: 5 points per serving

Weight Watching TIP OF THE WEEK:
I thought it might also be fun to share the little tips and tricks we've all learned along the way to make being a "loser" a winning experience.
This week's tip is stolen from my good friend, Amanda, who has done an aMaZiNg job on Weight Watchers. We tried this a couple of nights ago and what a great trick:
When having baked potatoes, use a tablespoon or so of chicken broth to moisten your potato before adding all of your toppings. This keeps your potato yummy all the way down to the skin, long after the butter & sour cream are gone! And it is 0 points-- up to a cup of the fat free chicken broth only has 5 calories. Thanks, Amanda! We will never have dry potatoes again. Amanda suggested to me to just set out a bowl of broth with all of your other toppings and that's exactly what we did. We did warm the broth first. Try it the next time you enjoy a baked potato!


Brandon and Dee said...

Thanks for the great recipes! I am starting WW again today (I keep falling off the wagon). I look forward to hearing more of your tips and recipes!

Melissa said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I can't wait to try that eclair--YUM!

Rebecca said...

That stir-fry looks delicious!! I can't wait to try it.

Leslye said...

What a great idea! I am looking forward to WW Wednesdays! Joey and I did well on WW last year and then we moved and stopped, so now we are back on it again! Thanks for the recipes!

David Dominguez said...

Let me say that all these meals are delicious!

Amanda said...

YAY!!!!!!!! I can't wait to try ALL of those recipes! Thank you so much for posting them - I know it takes a lot of time. Can I just say that you are required to bring that eclair cake to the next potluck? Seriously sounds delicious. Oh, and I'm so glad the chicken broth worked great!

By the way, I totally read the title of your last post in a Chandler voice. Was it supposed to be that way???

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