Tag Archives: Weight Watchers

Dinner For Two – Nights That Is

3 Jun

Creamy Veggie PenneWe all have those nights when we’re driving home from work that we’re so tired, frustrated, and hungry that we want to knock over a Taco Bell (“Keep the money just give me all of your Grilled Stuffed Burritos…to go”) or just eat anything that doesn’t move too fast. I’ve had to be hyper-vigilant because I’m temporarily barred from exercise and, well, I actually want to lose weight.

Last night was one of those nights for me.  I had worked late instead of doing my usually Thursday night routine – leaving around 5, running home to eat a quick turkey sandwich or veggie burger, and then heading to my knitting group for the night.  I didn’t get home til well after 7 and man, was I cranky.  I briefly considered eating peanut butter out of the jar with a soup spoon (hey, it’s got protein). There was some glimmer of common sense and sanity left in my now-fried brain so I decided to fix myself something relatively quick but satisfying and healthy.

I made what I like to call “Creamy Veggie Penne.”  Before I give you the recipe, I just want to note a few things. I cannot abide going to the grocery store 27 times a week to buy fresh vegetables.  Even though I love them I am a single gal cooking for one and most of the stuff in my crisper goes bad before I can finish it.  Cooking in huge batches on the weekend doesn’t appeal to me, not only because I’m a relatively improvisational cook, but because the idea of being forced to eat the same thing or variations on the same thing for a whole week drives me directly to one of the numerous pizzerias in the area (I live in Jersey, that’s basically all we have here).  Long story long, I stock up on frozen veggies.  I love the steamer bags to pieces (sugar snap peas are my current jam) but I also keep a lot of frozen spinach and pepper strips in the freezer.  Also, you’ll note that my salad is on the dinner plate and my pasta is in a tiny prep bowl.  I learned a long time ago that putting a reasonable and moderate serving of pasta on a full dinner plate will make me eat too much or just cry so I eat off of salad plates or from small bowls frequently.  One last thing – I don’t use salt when I cook and I LOVE garlic and red pepper flakes so adjust to your heart’s delight depending on your feelings about these things.

Creamy Veggie Pasta and Sweet and Savory Salad

1 c dry whole wheat pasta

1 c 360 brand Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (or your brand of choice)

1 (heaping) tbsp minced garlic or to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

Olive Oil Pam

2 tbsp neufchatel cheese

1 c frozen spinach

1 c frozen red, yellow, and green pepper strips

McCormick Italian Spices Grinder to taste

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan for garnish and deliciousness

Cook whole wheat pasta according to package directions.  While it is cooking, spray the bottom of a saucepan with Pam and put on medium heat. Once pan is hot, add minced garlic and cook until golden.  Add pasta sauce and neufchatel cheese, stirring until cheese is melted and is blended with sauce.  Add spinach, peppers and spices to taste. Simmer until your pasta is done.  Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta and stir.  Put half the pasta in your bowl and save the other half in fridge or freezer.

Sweet and Savory Salad

1 good sized handful of fresh baby arugula

Up to 1 oz of crumbled Gorgonzola

1 Del Monte Mandarin Orange fruit cup (in water, no sugar added) or equivalent

fresh ground pepper to taste

Balsamic glaze

Toss all ingredients and put on a plate – done!  Some things you could substitute in this salad that would be equally delicious are: goat cheese, shaved Parmesan, blood oranges, mango, raspberries, or strawberries.  If you can dream it you can eat it!  For us Weight Watchers folks this dinner comes in at about 11 points – 8 if you skip the cheese.  I like to round it out with a Skinny Cow Dulce de Leche ice cream for 4 points cause that’s how I roll.


Becoming a Diet Boy Scout

27 May

I’m home from work a little early after a Hannibal Lecter-like quid pro quo from my boss so I figured I’d toss off a quick post.  I’m heading to dinner at a dear friend’s house tonight and am trying to curb my anxiety about being around all her delicious food AND not having enough time to exercise before I go.

My natural tendency is to say that one meal never killed anyone and that I’d make up for it with tomorrow’s workout but that kind of procrastination is what has made me and Lane Bryant BFFs.  As I drove home from work I reflected on the cocktail  party I survived on Wednesday night.  I knew there would be tempting little hors d’oevres and plenty of booze (it was an alum event for my swanky private high school) and I knew my anxiety level was going to shoot through the roof. During the event the school’s Headmaster said that these events are great for discovering that the guy you hated in high school really wasn’t such a jerk.  I beg to differ.  That guy, he’s an incredible douchebag proving only that I was an excellent judge of character at the tender age of 14.  Despite knowing that the arrogant gassbags in the room are their own worst enemies and not mine I still have a tendency to drink like it’s my job to quell the feelings of anxiety that creep up in these situations.  At the last party my date nearly had to use a fireman’s carry to get me to the car.

I decided resolutely that this time would be different. I had a plan. First thing in the morning I sat down and planned my consumables for the day starting with the idea that I would allow myself 2 glasses of white wine at the party. I’ll interject here that Weight Watchers Online is AWESOME for these endeavors.  I entered the wine in my eating plan for the day and set about planning an eating schedule and menu that would allow me to successfully avoid eating anything at the party and keep me from going over my allotment for the day.  I won’t bore you with every morsel that passed these disturbingly small and thin lips obviously inherited from my grandfather Harry whose natural expression was a tight-lipped grimace.  What I will tell you is that I came home from work and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on an Arnold Sandwich thin and a handful of SnapPea Crisps and drank 2 glasses of water.

I went to the party, sweated like a whore in church (it was over 80 degrees and not air conditioned) but I didn’t eat.  I was prepared, I wasn’t hungry and was determined not to eat or drink my anxiety.  I had two tiny cocktails and called it a night. The asshat from high school was there and was standing shoulder to shoulder with me for quite some time without so much as breathing on me.  A lovely group of beautiful and kind younger women I recognized took me into their circle, made me feel less psychotic and complimented me on how brave I was to attend alone….I assume they mean fat, unmarried and childless but it was lovely of them anyway.  I said no to every pierogie, slider and tuna tartar that came my way.  I considered it a win.

I guess what I’m suggesting you take from this is: Be Prepared.  Whether it’s planning for an eating or drinking challenge or just sticking a Larabar in your purse (or murse if you’ve got a pair) in case things go awry and you’re faced with nothing but bad food choices.  So I’m going to go hose myself off and admire the somewhat human-colored hue I’ve obtained from being outside for an hour and then eat a banana so I’m prepared to eat just enough. Then tomorrow I will exercise but not because I have anything to make up for.

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