Spicy Manchego and Serrano Panini: Recipe of the Week

The recipe in the Weight Watchers weekly booklet for February 21-27, 2016 is Spicy Manchego and Serrano Panini.

You may have noticed that this blog is about dieting and weight loss on a budget so right off the bat, I found that I was going to need to make some ingredient changes for this one.

I subbed deli ham for the Serrano and low fat mozzarella and cheddar blend for the Manchego cheese.

I love, love, love this recipe. It is really a grilled cheese sandwich with ham, but the addition of the mayonnaise and paprika spread gives it the buttery taste of a classic grilled cheese without the added fat and calories.

This is a quick and easy recipe that has become a staple at our house and I bet you will love it too. Let me know what you think.

ham and cheese ingredients
Spicy Grilled Cheese with Ham
Print Recipe
Take your lunch up a notch. The spicy spread adds a subtle kick to these easy to make amped up grilled cheese sandwiches.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
ham and cheese ingredients
Spicy Grilled Cheese with Ham
Print Recipe
Take your lunch up a notch. The spicy spread adds a subtle kick to these easy to make amped up grilled cheese sandwiches.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine mayo and paprika.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon mayo mixture on each bread bottom. Layer each sandwich with 1 ounce ham and 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese. Cover with bread tops.
  3. Heat large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Coat both sides of sandwiches with cooking spray. Cook sandwiches 3-5 minutes per side until cheese is melted. Slice each sandwich in half and serve warm.
Recipe Notes

9 Smartpoints per sandwich

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MOM
Heart to Heart

I have been away from blogging for a few months and have missed it so much! I had to focus my time and energy on taking care of my mother. On May 12th we rushed her to the hospital because she was experiencing shortness of breath… long story short… turns out she was having a heart attack. The next day she was transported to a different hospital for an emergency triple by-pass.

Thankfully she is back home with us now and doing well. She is 80 years old, so the recovery is slow but she is getting better and will be around for a while longer. Which is what really matters.

Now that Mom is home she is on a heart healthy diet which is very similar to the way I cook anyway.

  • Control portion size
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Chose whole grains
  • Limit unhealthy fats
  • Limit salt

 

So I am going to do my best to keep my recipes heart healthy, weight watchers point worthy and most of all TASTY!

Do you live with and/or care for someone on a specific diet? How do you incorporate dietary restrictions into your cooking? Are you a caregiver for a family member? If your a caregiver how do you cope with making time for yourself and avoiding stress eating? I would love to hear from others in a similar situation.

TTFN,

Kathy

 

Did Someone Say Pizza?

One of the things I love most about the Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale program is that you never have to miss out on foods you love. I have been on so many other diets that had a “forbidden” food list… no carbs, no white food, no sugar, no gluten, no bananas… and on and on.

With this program no food is off limits, you just have to make smart choices and use your points wisely. I have started calling food “point worthy” or “not point worthy.”

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite websites, Hungrygirl.com. As usual, I made a few changes but is absolutely delicious and with only 5 SmartPoints per pizza… definitely point worthy.

Click below for recipe

Hawaiian Pizza with Pineapple and Ham

Pizza

Pizza

Buttery Baked Swai and a Happy Weigh In

Move moreJust got back from my meeting and I am down another 1.8 pounds this week!

So happy after .6 last week. In the past I might have binged last week with such a small number but I have decided to follow the plan this time.

I am going to stop doing what I’ve always done.

I know it might take me a long time to reach my goal weight, but any amount down is that much closer.

How do you handle the slow loss weeks?

What keeps you motivated when the scale isn’t moving as fast as you would like?

One thing I like to do is try a new recipe.

The recipe in the weekly hand out last week was for Grilled Tuna with Cucumber-Noodle Salad.

I’m not a big lover of fish unless it’s breaded and/or fried, so I decided not to waste my money trying this recipe and instead made a simple breaded and baked Swai fish that my family loves and the best part is that it is only 3 Smartpoints for a 4oz. filet.

What is your favorite fish to eat? Have you every tried Swai? It is light, flakey and buttery deliciousness.

baked swai

A healthy ‘point worthy diner”

click below for printable version of this recipe

Buttery Baked Swai

Sweet Potato Chew Sticks for your Fur Baby

Roscoe with sweet potato chewThis recipe is for my boy, Roscoe. He needs to trim up a little too, due to a little winter weight that he’s picked up… Happens to the best of us and our fur babies.

Roscoe is a high stress, high energy boy and sometimes he just needs something to chew on to calm him down.

I hate to give him rawhide or store-bought chews. Who can forget the doggie deaths from treats made overseas?

A lot of the chews that are made in the U.S.A. are pricey so whats a doggie Mommy to do?

Grab the food dehydrator, the mandolin slicer and 3 sweet potatoes and get to work. IMG_0167 IMG_0172 I left the peel on, just gave them a quick scrub and dried them off, then sliced them using the mandolin, but you could use a knife if you wanted.

Since Roscoe is a small dog, only 10 pounds, I made these fairly thin. However, you can make them whatever size would be appropriate for your dog.

These will shrink about a 1/3 in size as they dry.

Lay them out in a single layer on your dryer pans and turn on high for approximately 8 hours. The time will depend on the thickness of your sweet taters. I always dry mine when I’ll be home so I can check them every few hours.

If you don’t have a dehydrater, you can dry them in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until dried through.

The dryer the tater, the crunchier it will be.IMG_0178IMG_0176

Once completely dry and cooled keep on counter for 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

The real test was to see how The Boy likes it…

Looks like he approves!

Do you make your own dog snacks or food? Do you worry about feeding your pets treats made outside of the U.S?

Click here for the print version of this recipe

7 Things I Love About Weight Watchers Beyond The Scale

Great oak was a little nutLike many of you I have been on too many different diets to name.

I have gained and lost more pounds than I can count. I have dieted most of my life, starting at the age of 12 when I went to Weight Watchers meetings with my mom. Anyone else remember the first time you went on a diet?

I sure wish I weighed what I did the first time I decided I needed to lose weight. And who can forget the comments from family members and friends… such a pretty face, if only she would lose some weight… blah, blah, blah!

I feel like I am so over the whole diet thing. I guess I just gave up for a while. Why bother, I told myself. Then there is the statistic that only 5% of people who lose weight keep it off for 2 years. What’s a girl to do?

I decided to give it one more try, mostly for health reasons. And that’s how I ended up trying the new program from Weight Watchers called Beyond the Scale. I wanted to the diet to be healthy, not a fad. I wanted it to be realistic. I wanted all food groups and I wanted something that I could stay with forever. No more going on and off a diet.

I have now been on the program for 2 and 1/2 weeks and am down 6 pounds. Here are 7 things I I love about this plan.

  1. You can eat what ever you want as long as you stay in your points range.
  2. Fruits and veggies are “0” smartpoints.
  3. I have been satisfied with my food options, no deprivation.
  4. I have not been starving!
  5. The plan steers me towards healthier food choices so I don’t use all my points on junky food.
  6. I have been able to eat at restaurants with ease.
  7.  I am losing weight!!!

If your dieting what plan are you following?

What do you love about it? Hate about it?

Have you or are you now on weight watchers?

Love to hear from you guys.

TTFN,

Kathy

10 Reasons To Be Happy With a Small Weekly Weight Loss

It is what it isEver feel like any weight loss less than a pound doesn’t count? I know I do.

But that attitude is what got me to this size.

That attitude is defeating.

That attitude is not going to get me to my weight loss goal.

My second weigh in with Weight Watchers, Beyond the Scale program was disappointing to me. I lost .6 of a pound. The disappointment was deep and immediate. I’ve been down this road before, have you?

You start a new diet and/or exercise plan, or you re-commit to something that has worked for you in the past… Then BAM! Just 2 weeks in and your aggravated, frustrated and furious that all the work and perceived deprivation was for nothing.

That my friends is not true!

As I sat through my weekly meeting this morning I really listened to the women around me and watched the different reactions as they walked into the meeting room from the weigh in area. I noticed that the women who have been successful with weight loss had one thing in common. That one thing was that they were happy with any amount of weight loss. Some were even happy with not seeing a gain after a difficult week.

Lets break this down into what it really means:

  1. A half of a pound is 2 sticks of butter. Think about removing that much fat from your body!
  2. Any loss gets us that much closer to our goal.
  3. Any excess weight released from our bodies is that much less stress on our hearts, knees and even feet.
  4. Even a small weight loss can make clothes fit better. (Remember the 2 sticks of butter)
  5. I have an opportunity to review my week and decide if I really followed my plan. Did I record everything that went into my mouth? Did I get my steps in? Was there anything I could have or should have done?
  6. Less weight means more energy for most of us.
  7. I had a big loss my first week so my body is probably catching up and wondering what the heck is going on.
  8. Even though my weight loss was small, I know I ate healthier this week.
  9. A small loss means less danger of becoming diabetic. (something I worry about… a lot)
  10. If I wasn’t following the program there is a strong chance I would have gained weight this week.

WeightLossHelp-1A small weight loss is frustrating. Especially when you feel like you have worked hard all week. You have followed your program to a T and you have put so much energy and effort into this journey. But, for me I am deciding to be happy for any small amount I lose. I am not going to give up or give in.

I have to remind myself of my whys.

Why am I doing this in the first place?

What are your whys?

How do you feel when you have disappointment on weigh in day?

We are on a journey and each step gets us closer to our goals. Don’t let a bad week/ meal/ weigh in, derail all your hard work. I’m in this for the long haul. Are you with me?

TTFN,

Kathy

 

Beyond The Scale Progress Report, Week 2

I’m happy to report that I had another good week.

I stuck to my points and tried to get in as many steps as possible each day.

I also made a new recipe that I adapted from the Hungry Girl website, it’s called: Hawaiian Chicken and Fried Cauliflower Rice.

Tropical Chicken and Cauliflower Fried Rice
I didn’t love this recipe, but it’s only 5 SmartPoints and since I put all the work and cost of ingredients into it I will eat it anyway… such is life. I will post the details later this week.

Today I am going to make the weekly recipe from the Weight Watchers handout ( the one you get if you attend meetings). It is called: Spicy Manchego and Serrano Panini but since I live on a budget and would have to go to a specialty store for Manchego cheese and Serrano ham I will make some easy and cost effective substitutions.

So stay tuned my friends there’s more to come and I think you will like it.
Oh yeah— weigh in day is tomorrow so wish me luck! I feel a little thinner this week so I hope that is reflected in my weigh in but you never know. I had a BIG loss last week and I’m a woman, and as we all know… the scale can be a fickle thing…

TTFN,

Kathy

Overnight Oatmeal a 7 SmartPoint Breakfast To Go

Overnight Oatmeal is all the rage on food blogs lately and since I love oatmeal, I just had to try it myself. I browsed several recipes and took some things from here and there and came up with my own version that is tasty and filling and comes in at just 7 Smartpoints. You can make this with any type of fruit you like and leave out the PB2 if you aren’t a peanut butter lover, but you will lose some protein without it.

Overnight Oatmeal
Overnight Oatmeal, a 7 SmartPoint Breakfast To Go
Print Recipe
You can use quick, rolled or steal cut oats in this recipe. The quick oats will produce a soft texture, rolled oats will make your overnight oatmeal chewier and if you prefer steel cut your finished meal will be a combination of crunchy and chewy. I used rolled oats because that is what I had.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Overnight Oatmeal
Overnight Oatmeal, a 7 SmartPoint Breakfast To Go
Print Recipe
You can use quick, rolled or steal cut oats in this recipe. The quick oats will produce a soft texture, rolled oats will make your overnight oatmeal chewier and if you prefer steel cut your finished meal will be a combination of crunchy and chewy. I used rolled oats because that is what I had.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to container and mix well, or cover and shake to combine.
    Overnight Oatmeal Ingredients
  2. Leave in refrigerator overnight.
  3. Can be eaten cold, room temperature or warmed to your preference for a delicious and healthy meal to go.
Recipe Notes

The best thing about this recipe is your ability to customize it to your taste. You can change up the fruit with strawberries, blackberries or even cherries. You can leave out the PB2 and/or the ground flax seed to save 1 Smartpoint each. You could also add nuts (this will add SmartPoints) or different extracts, the possibilities are endless.

Enjoy!

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Weight Watchers Weekly Recipe Series

I have decided that I will try and make at least one new recipe each week, and will post pictures, the recipe and my review. I am going to use the recipes from the Weight Watchers weekly booklet that is given out at meetings.

I will also share recipes I have created and/or found on other sites.

I will do my best to follow these as written but will include changes and smart point variations if needed. As my blog title states, this site is Weight Watchers or Weight Loss on a budget so that will always be a consideration when I create and post recipes.

The first recipe is for Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Bolognese Sauce but I altered it to Pasta with Asparagus and Bolognese Sauce.

so here we go…

Pasta Bolognese with Asparagus
Pasta with Asparagus and Bolognese Sauce
Print Recipe
A hearty dish of penne pasta with asparagus and classic Italian seasonings will fill you up and be a favorite with your whole family. And best of all, the large 1 1/2 cup serving will only cost you 7 SmartPoints.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Pasta Bolognese with Asparagus
Pasta with Asparagus and Bolognese Sauce
Print Recipe
A hearty dish of penne pasta with asparagus and classic Italian seasonings will fill you up and be a favorite with your whole family. And best of all, the large 1 1/2 cup serving will only cost you 7 SmartPoints.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, to make sauce, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add beef and fennel seed to skillet; cook until meat is browned, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, about 3-4 minutes.
    ground beef onion garlic skillet
  3. Stir in tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
    pasta sauce
  4. While sauce simmers, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions, adding diced asparagus (or broccoli rabe) to pasta water 5 minutes before pasta will be done; cook until pasta and vegetables are tender.
  5. Drain pasta and vegetables; return to pot. Add sauce; toss to mix and coat.
    penne pasta Bolognese with asparagus on plate
Recipe Notes

Top with grated parmesan cheese, (2 tsp. =1 SmartPoints) and enjoy!

Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving for a value of 7 SmartPoints.

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