Monday, June 30, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Poached Chicken Breasts With Apples

This is a delicious recipe. It's fairly simple and it's even nice enough for company! It's from a Better Homes and Gardens New Dieter's Cookbook that we got years ago. It's also good this time of year because it doesn't use the oven.

Poached Chicken Breasts With Apples

1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
1/2 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
Dash pepper
4 medium (12 oz. total) boned skinless chicken breast halves (Oops - I've always used boneless!)
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced ( I use a red or Fuji)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon water
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. In a 10-in. skillet combine apple juice, bouillon granules, garlic, tarragon, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Add chicken breasts; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes.

2. Turn chicken over; add apple slices and green onions. Cover and simmer 4 to 5 minutes more or till chicken is tender and no longer pink.

3. With a slotted spoon remove chicken and apples; keep warm. Reserve cooking liquid.

4. In a small bowl stir together the water and cornstarch. Stir into liquid in skillet. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Spoon over chicken and apples. Makes 4 servings.

182 cal., 3 g fat, ? fiber (approx. 4 pts)

Hope you get the chance to try this one out this week. Have a wonderful healthy week!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Apple-Bran Muffins

I like giving you breakfast recipes for the weekend! Here's another one from Weight Watchers a long time ago. The flavor is very mild, but they are nice for breakfast, especially since you can have 2! They are nice when served with some healthy bacon or sausage and a little fruit.

Apple-Bran Muffins

1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and grated
1 cup All-Bran cereal
1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup each whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a nonstick 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

2. With a fork, beat the egg substitute in a large bowl until frothy. Stir in the milk and oil, then the apples.

3. Combine the cereal, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir just until blended (do not overmix). Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

per muffin: 107 cal., 2 g fat, 1 g fiber (2 pts)

Try them out and see what you think. Have a wonderful, healthy weekend!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yay! A Little Loss

Thank you to the Lord for small victories! I weighed in at WW this evening and actually lost 1.6 lbs!! That is the first loss in a month. The thing that I am happiest about is that I have been rewarded for not giving up.

When you don't see the scale move or it's moving upward even when you are working on being healthier, it can be very discouraging and cause you to say,"Forget it!" It was tough for me to hang in there, but I know that I need to do these things to get healthy even if the scale barely moves (but PLEASE let it continue to move downward!). I do feel encouraged and more motivated now, which will help me this next week.

My first mini goal is to lose 10 pounds. I will be able to feel that difference and it will be enough of a loss to be considered a serious start for me. Overall, I need to lose 40-50 pounds, but that's just too big to think about right now. Let's go for 10!

Are you struggling? Have you had a bad week? I encourage you to just start again. Don't beat yourself up for today's failures - every day is a fresh start. If I can hang in there, I know you can, too!

Lisa :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Asian Chicken Slaw

Since the weather is hot, this recipe was sounding good - no heat involved! It's yummy - I liked it and so did my parents, though my hubby thought the flavors were a little mild. The key would be letting it chill for at least 1 hour to let flavors mix. This recipe came from Cooking Light last summer.

Asian Chicken Slaw

2-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken)
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 10-oz. pkg. angel hair slaw
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

1. To prepare slaw, combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

2. To prepare dressing, combine cider vinegar and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour dressing over the slaw; toss to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and sesame seeds before serving. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1-1/2 cups).

152 cal., 3.7 g fat, 4.5 g fiber (3 pts)

Take a break from the heat this week and try this one out. Let me know what you think!

Lisa :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Oven French Toast

This recipe was from a Weight Watchers magazine. It's nice if you're trying to do a lighter version of baked french toast for breakfast.

Oven French Toast

1 (1 lb.) loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
1 pint fat-free half-and-half
2 cups fat-free milk
1 (16 oz.) container fat-free egg substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light stick butter, melted

1. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place 3 rows of the bread in the baking dish lengthwise, overlapping the slices slightly to fit.
2. In a bowl, combine the half-and-half, milk, egg substitute, vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg, beating with a whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degress F. Uncover the baking dish. With the back of a spoon, lightly press the bread into the egg mixture.
4. Combine the apples, brown sugar, melted butter, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl. Top the bread mixture evenly with the apple mixture. Bake until puffed and golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings, 246 cal., 4 g fat, 2 g fiber (5 pts)

Hope you get to try it and that you enjoy it!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting Back on Track

I did go back to Weight Watchers tonight, just to weigh in...and I GAINED...AGAIN! Arghhhh!

The negative me: What's the point if this is all you can lose? Why can't you do this?

The positive me: Hey, you're still down from your original weight! Good job weighing in. Start fresh - you can do it!

Need to listen to the positive and get back on track. Also, I need to ask God for help! What was I thinking trying to do it all on my own?! I need to humble myself, ask for help, work hard and see how this week goes.

Anybody else struggling? Any tips?

Lisa :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Pan-Glazed Chicken with Basil

This was a recipe in a Weight Watchers cookbook ad a few years ago. It's our favorite chicken recipe. I make it quite often as it's so quick and yummy, too!

Pan-Glazed Chicken with Basil

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried basil

1. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over med.-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn chicken, and cook 6 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in vinegar, honey, and basil; cook 1 minute.

4 servings, 161 cal., 3.7 g fat, 0 g fiber (4 pts)

Doesn't get much easier than that! And it's good leftover, too. Could use the leftover chicken in other recipes.

Try it out - I think you'll like it!

Lisa :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes

This is a yummy recipe for dessert or breakfast. I found it in Weight Watchers magazine a few years ago. It's really good!

Carrot Cupcakes

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup apple butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 medium)

1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 mini-muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
2. Whisk together the flour, granulated and brown sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs, oil, apple butter, and vanilla in another bowl, and fold into the flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Stir in the carrots. Spoon into the muffin cups, filling them halfway. Bake until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
3. To prepare the frosting, combine the cream cheese and honey in a small bowl. Dab a teaspoonful onto the top of each cooled cupcake.

Makes 24 servings. Per cupcake: 111 cal., 5 g fat, 1 g fiber (2 pts)

A little work, but a yummy result and makes quite a few - enough to share! What do you think?

Lisa :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Confession Time

OK, I did the very thing that I always tell other Weight Watchers members to never do! I did not go to the meeting yesterday or weigh in. I could tell by my scale at home that my weight was up for the second week in a row. Grrr... I know that I was not perfect last week, but I snacked less, made healthy dinners, drank a little water, and exercised twice. Those things are good even if the scale didn't move.

I do think that I know what's happening. The weather has warmed up and I am definitely not drinking enough water. I am probably a little dehydrated and I can tell that I am swollen and retaining water.

So, I will stay on track, do better this week, and force myself to drink more water! Next week should be better. Don't worry - I'm not quitting WW; I bought 10 weeks of passes so I have no choice - ha, ha!

How did your week go?

Lisa :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Summer Corn Salad

I love this recipe - we make it a lot throughout the year. It came from a Weight Watchers cookbook called Winner's Circle. Some people like to use it as a kind of salsa, but I like it as a salad.

Summer Corn Salad

4 fresh corn, husks and silks removed, or 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced (I've always left these out)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cut the kernels from the corn cobs and place in a large bowl. Add the tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, scallions, radishes, cilantro, vinegar, salt, and pepper; gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 4 servings (generous 1 cup), 114 cal., 1 g fat, 4 g fiber (2 pts)

I always make a double batch - I don't think the single batch is enough. And to save time, I usually use frozen corn, but the flavor of fresh corn can't be beat!

Hope you try this one. It's so fresh, healthy, and colorful. I like to have it whenever we have tacos or enchiladas, but also like it as a side dish for lunch.

Lisa :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Yummy Food Find

I do love dessert - can you tell?! I just recently discovered these and am in love! They are Weight Watchers English Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Bars. Oh, they are so yummy - my hubby and son like them, too.

They are only 2 points each! Of course, that means they are small, but packed full of flavor and they satisfy the sweet tooth. I loved English Toffee ice cream bars when I was a kid, and these bring me right back to that time.

Are they all natural? No way! Are they really yummy? Absolutely! And there are no trans fats - that's something.

Try them out. Even if you're not dieting, it's still nice to have a smaller portion of dessert.

Lisa :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Big Sigh...Not of Relief

Bummer...I gained weight this week. I'm not terribly surprised; I didn't do my best - went over my points a few times. But I did pretty well on my goals for the week, so I really thought I would at least have maintained. Also, I did a new body sculpting DVD and was sore for 2 days...that could have had an effect (something about overdoing it with muscles and they retain water to recover?).

The important thing is that I still went and weighed in at WW!! That is one of the hardest things to do when you know for sure that your weight is up. It really is better to log that gain and then have a loss the next week rather than not logging it and having to lose the gained weight plus more to even see any loss on paper. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I drank water, exercised, and tried to keep track of what I ate. That's a good thing! I will do better this next week and try to keep a good attitude about it all.

Oh, and apparently driving from my house to the WW meeting does not burn enough calories to lose a couple case you were wondering. :)

What do you do to overcome discouragement?

Lisa :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

Hope you had a great weekend! Here's another healthy recipe for you to try.

This recipe is a nice change of pace. My husband and son really like it! It's easy, too. I adapted it slightly from a grocery store free magazine (Raley's Something Extra). Try it out for dinner sometime this week.

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

1 lb. ground round or extra lean ground beef, shaped into 4 thin oval patties
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
10 oz. beef gravy ( I used beef herb gravy mix packets with the required amount of water added)
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon thyme

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add meat; cook over med.-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Stir in remaining ingredients; reduce heat and simmer, loosely covered, for 25 minutes or until beef is tender.

Makes 4 servings. 210 cal., 9 g. fat, 1 g. fiber (5 pts)

I always like having something new to do with hamburger. Let me know if you like it!

Lisa :)