Dieting and Dining

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For the last 6 weeks I've been following Weight Watchers in hopes of shedding nearly 30 pounds of "marital bliss." Impressive right? 30 pounds in 6 years is not a good thing! Usually I fall off the wagon at week 4, but this time is different. I think the trick has been finding new recipes (or modifying old ones) that keep me excited and still allow me to eat. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to eat.

When I start getting that why me attitude, or I start looking to graze all day on easy treats, I know I'm approaching a battle with sticking to the plan. One little bag of skittles turns into four pieces of pizza and suddenly I've consumed a whole tray of brownies to boot. At that point I start making excuses for myself and 3 weeks later I've gained back all that hard won weight loss.

This time I've branched out of my "safe diet foods" (i.e.- the boring but easy staples) and started to have fun reinventing recipes and finding healthy new dinner options. I think I'm going to start posting them because I know I'm not the only one who wants to eat healthy, if not lose a little weight.

Tonight we had:
Butternut Squash Soup and a Chopped Salad with apples, red onions, cinnamon almonds, feta cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. I topped the soup and salad with homemade garlic croutons.

The whole meal had about 8 points (I get 23 a day) which leaves me with some points for fudge cookies and milk! Yippie! Ok, and some fruit... If I'd left out the croutons- which were super yummy but unnecessary- I could have saved 3 points, making the whole meal a total of 5-ish points. Not too shabby.

Butternut Squash Soup:
(I halved this recipe, and counted the soup for about 2 points, but it might have been 3...) (=

2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped medium
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2" chunks.
6 cups chicken broth
1/2-1 tsp. dried thyme
generous pinch nutmeg
1/2 c. cream or half and half (I used land-o-lakes fat free half and half)

Add olive oil and onion to large pot. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in squash, broth, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, 20-25 minutes.
Puree soup (in batches if necessary) in a blender until smooth.
Return soup to the pot. Stir in cream/ half and half. Bring to a brief simmer then remove from heat. If the soup seems too thick, thin with some chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper and additional nutmeg if desired.

*serves 4.

Cutting up a butternut squash:

Step 1: chop top and bottom off of squash.

Step 2: peel thick skin off with a vegetable peeler.

Step 3: scoop out seeds and feel grateful you don't have to do a pumpkin.

Step 4: Chop into smaller chunks.

Chopped Salad:

1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces.
1 apple diced into small chunks
Red onions, sliced very thinly
Feta cheese (preferably very old and from the back of your fridge like mine) (=
Cinnamon almond slivers (place almond slices or slivers into a nonstick pan, sprinkle with sugar (2 tsp per 1/4 c. nuts) and a shake of cinnamon and stir continually on the stove until the sugar melts and the almonds become slightly toasted. Careful not to burn almonds or yourself- those suckers get hot. Spread on a plate until cooled.)
raspberry vinaigrette (I made mine from scratch but wasn't all that impressed with the recipe I followed.)

Lay out salad, add toppings as desired.


3 cups bread slices (I used homemade rustic bread from another night that I sliced into 1" by 1/2" thick chunks.) Stale old bread would probably be awesome.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced fine
1/4 tsp. salt

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes on a cookie sheet until browned and crispy. Breath deeply into husbands face to maximize garlic breath. Enjoy a night of uninterrupted sleep. (=


Colleen said...

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Grant and Taryn Layton said...

Awesome! Thanks for posting. And yes...definitely could use some good healthy recipes. And I know you're a fabulous cook so I can trust them :)

Devon and Alicia said...

You should start a cooking blog. :)

Whitney said...

Fun recipes! I love it! Glad you're sticking with the program, I am sure you look fantastic, just as you always have!

laceyjo said...

Yay for blogs!! I'm sure going to have to use some of these recipes!

Debora said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing, Holly! Keep them coming :)

Maurice&Tash said...

totally gonna cook it. Amen to this blog my sister. Amen.