Hey Everyone! Angela here (aka. The Reluctant Weight Watcher Foodie). When Dacia asked if there was anyone interested in guest blogging for her, I immediately jumped at the opportunity! She did that for me and it was about time I returned the favor. I just had to figure out what to write about.
Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I’ve been overweight my whole life, but it never really held me back. I was content. I didn’t have problems with socializing or dating or traveling… just minor concerns about how I looked (like any person does when they are getting ready to go somewhere) and I just pushed them aside. I was a strong, confident BBW (still am)! Then I met the love of my life and realized that if I wanted to have a family, I needed to lose weight. Pregnancy (and parenthood) is EXPENSIVE and beautifully chaotic, so getting in shape became more important than ever.
I’ve been on (and off) Weight Watchers since November 2010. My journey has been a bit different from Dacia’s. She’s a machine! I’m… an A/C set on auto. Sometimes I’m on, sometimes I’m off. Depends on the weather. That’s my personality, though. I get focused on one thing for a while, let most other things fall to the side and then I have to take a step back and re-gather my senses before moving forward again. Right now, I’m back on! In the past 14 months I’ve lost almost 45 lbs, but I still have about 110 lbs to go. But hey! It’s almost 1/3 of the way there.
Enough about my story, though. Time to talk about my passion. FOOOOOOOOOOOD. Why do you think I got to over 300 lbs in the first place? I love food. I love new tastes and textures and flavor combinations and kitchen appliances. I used to cook amazing full fat alfredo and Thai curries and brownies. Now, I cook amazing LOW-fat alfredo, curry and brownies…. plus a lot of other stuff! In fact, I’ve learned so much about how to create amazing healthy dishes that I think I finally figured out which career path I’m meant to pursue: Culinary Arts Extraordinaire! This girl is going to culinary school! Not sure when, but I’m hoping to be attending Le Cordon Bleu sometime within the next couple years. Then I’ll know all the right techniques to really bring delicious, healthy food to the next level.
Right now, I enjoy combing through cookbooks and trying out new recipes to inspire my taste buds. Then I share them with all my readers! Now, I know that Dacia is happy vegan these days (so happy for her!), but I like meat. And I’m sure that at least SOME of you readers out there like meat too, right? I’ve decided to share a recipe with you since that’s what I do best
This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite cookbooks, the Best Ever Indian Cookbook. I’ve really been into Indian cuisine lately. The depth of the flavor is incredible and there are actually quite a lot of dishes that come out to be really low in WW PointsPlus. Many of the dishes are also SUPER fast to cook from start to finish, so as long as you have all your ingredients (and cooked rice in the fridge), you can make a delicious, different meal for yourself or your family in hardly any time.
Chopped Lamb with Curry Leaves and Chile
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3
- 1 tsp oil, 1PP
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 curry leaves
- 3 green chiles (I used Thai chiles)
- 4 oz trimmed leg of lamb, 3PP (I bought a big lamb leg cut it up into 4 oz portions and froze them. It ended up being about $2 per portion which isn’t too bad! Plus, the meat is so tender!)
- 1/2 tsp crushed or minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger root (I peel mine, freeze it and grate it on demand. Faster, less mess, same intensity as if it was fresh!)
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
- 3 mini sweet peppers, diced
1. Take your lamb and chop it up into really small pieces, almost as if it was ground. If you are comfortable using a food processor to do this, go ahead.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or saute pan and fry up the onion, curry leaves and chiles.
3. Put the lamb into a bowl and mix in the garlic, ginger and spices.
4. Add the lamb mixture and salt to the onions and stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes.
5. Add the peppers and zucchini and stir-fry for another few minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!
This dish is best served with either brown rice or even with eggs! And if you DID want to make it vegan, all you’d need to do is switch out the lamb for either chopped mushrooms or maybe tempeh or seitan. You can also put in as much of the veggies as you’d like, just adjust the spices to match the amount. And as for any of the ingredients that you wouldn’t normally have in your house, just find a local asian grocer and you should be able to find them for a really good price.
With another holiday weekend in front of me, I decided I needed to spend some time today and plan out the meals for the weekend. Last week, with my parents in town, we ate out almost every single day and Paul and I are kind of burnt out on restaurant food so planning to eat every meal at home was a must. We also wanted to plan super yummy vegan meals for when our friend KJ and her little daughter are over for New Year’s Eve, her husband will be working , and for our friends coming over for New Years day to watch the Cowboys vs. Giants game. We needed to make sure we planned out some awesome food so tha no one would complain about eating vegan
Oh and I should tell you now, because I don’t think I have mentioned it on here yet, that starting January 1 Paul is adopting a vegan diet as well. I did not ask him to or even try to persuade him towards going vegan- he came to that decision all on his own. I am pretty sure it was a combo of the science and research behind the film “Forks Over Knives” and the fact that Rip Esselstyn, who is the son of one of the main doctors in the film and appears in the movie, is a former pro triathlete, currently working as a fireman and eats a plant-based diet. I think seeing an athletic man speaking about the positive effects of adopting a plant-based diet without having to sacrifice health or fitness helped show him it’s more versatile than he thought.
Since Paul is going vegan I asked him if he wanted any special foods or meals before January 1, sort of like his last meal, and he said no. I think he is ready for the change, which is a good thing, and hopefully it is a smooth transition for him. I know for me life will be so much easier now that we can eat the same meals all the time. We usually eat the same things on the weekends but during the week it is each man for himself in our household. Now we can meal plan, shop, cook and eat together which is awesome. He even helped me pick out some recipes for the weekend. Believe it or not he took two vegan cookbooks with him to work today so he can start coming up with lunches and dinners he would like during the week- I was pretty shocked. Then he said to me that he wanted to make me miso soup and veggie lo mein (I love lo mein) this weekend so it is on the menu for Monday. It’s great he is so excited for this.
Meals for the New Year
Saturday lunch: Back on Track Wheat Berry and Bean Salad with side salad
Sunday breakfast: Vegan French Toast (Everyday Happy Herbivore)
Lunch/Dinner: Caribbean Peas & Rice
Party Foods: we’re going Greek-vegan; falafel, eggplant dip, tabouleh, hummus, grilled veggies, pita and a mix of fresh vegetables for dips
Monday breakfast: Overnight Oats
Lunch: Miso Soup with Veggie Lo Mein
Dinner: Back on Track Wheat Berry Salad (I love leftovers! They make life so much easier)
*Recipes not linked are from our cookbooks at home
On top of eating some fantastic vegan food this weekend I also have some great activities planned to help me ring in the New Year. Friday night Paul and I are going to a San Antonio Rampage hockey game which is always fun. Saturday morning after my Weight Watchers meeting we are going to go hike the Enchanted Rock. Please check out the awesome video below about the Enchanted Rock Park, it’s pretty amazing. As I said earlier we will be having KJ and her daughter MJ over for dinner and hanging out with them until MJ’s bed time which will probably also be mine and Paul’s bed time since we need to get a nap in- we are doing a midnight 5K. Since both of us are normally in bed around 9p we thought napping would be our best strategy to make it to midnight and through the race. Sunday will be a very relaxing day as we celebrate with more friends. I am meeting MS for lunch and then we are going to Synergy for their annual New Year’s Day celebration – the Burning Bowl Ceremony with Jodi Roberts and Stephanie Phillips. Then afterwards I will be watching some football (hopefully seeing the Giants destroy the Cowboys) with friends. On Monday we invited our former dog walker over to come spend some time with us and the doggies since we haven’t seen her since we moved. It should be a lot of fun. Then I plan on ending the weekend with a couple of boxing classes at Club KO and hopefully Paul will be joining me for that, too.
What do you have going on this weekend? I would love to hear about your plans and how you will be ringing in the New Year so feel free to comment below
Thanks for reading!
I have received feedback to my post yesterday in regards to my weekly meals. I would like to say that I am superwoman and am going to be making all of those meals from scratch but that is just not true. Most of the meals are based around items I bought ready to cook like the shrimp burgers and turkey burgers, they came already seasoned/flavored and all I need to do is cook them. For my stir-fry I use Saigon Sizzle Stir-fry sauce by House of Tsang and buy pre-chopped (fresh) stir fry veggies- pretty basic. The pesto chicken was bought already marinated and the couscous is Near East, ready in five minutes. However, there are two things I am making myself and so I will share with you the recipes. Enjoy!
Spaghetti alle Vongole (WW 18 PP per serving, definitely a splurge points wise but totally worth it)
Recipe by the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
- Kosher salt
- 6 oz. spaghetti
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 lb. cockles, Manila clams, or littlenecks, scrubbed
- 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season lightly with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, swirling pan often, until just golden. Add red pepper flakes and continue cooking 15 more seconds. Add wine, then clams; increase heat to high. Cover skillet and cook until clams open and release their juices, 3-6 minutes, depending on size of clams. As clams open, use tongs to transfer them to a bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet; bring to a boil. Add pasta to pan. Cook over high heat, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and has soaked up some of the sauce from the pan. Add clams and any juices from bowl to pan, along with parsley, and toss to combine. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and drizzle with remaining oil
One serving contains:
Calories (kcal) 674.8
%Calories from Fat 41.6
Fat (g) 31.2
Saturated Fat (g) 4.4
Cholesterol (mg) 41.0
Carbohydrates (g) 68.0
Dietary Fiber (g) 4.0
Total Sugars (g) 1.2
Net Carbs (g) 64.1
Protein (g) 27.9
Sodium (mg) 73.1
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower (WW 3 PP per serving)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.
- Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 8.2g
Total Carbs: 8.6g
Dietary Fiber: 3.6g
Recipe from allrecipes.com : http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Roasted-Garlic-Cauliflower/Detail.aspx