Monday, June 1, 2020

Altered recipe - Chicken Tamale Pie

Hi everyone!
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while but I had problems  adding to my blog for a while so I kind of gave up. But now it’s working for me. 🙂

I’ve been back on Weight Watchers (purple plan this time) for a few months and lost 14 pounds so far. Yes, I’ve lost these pounds before, but that’s okay. I really like the Purple Plan as it works well for my eating preferences. Potatoes, Air popped popcorn and whole wheat pasta - ZERO POINTS!

Today, I wanted to share a quick menu idea.

A few days ago I made the recipe in my recipe list “Taco Chicken Chili”, which is sooooo good and zero points on this plan. Yes, zero! I usually put it in a low carb flour tortilla, or a couple corn tortillas which does add points, but it’s still low in total points for the amount of delicious you get to gobble down.

This dish makes a large quantity, and I can’t give any away to my daughters due to Covid separation right now. Even in normal times it’s  hard for me to eat it up, so often  I freeze half. This time I ate on it for two days, and then used it as filling for Tamale Pie. You may have your own tamale pie recipe, but if not, here’s what I did.

I made the masa crust by adding 1 1/2 inch cups corn meal, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbls chili powder to 3 cups cold water, and bringing to a boil. Cook a bit longer until thick, just a little thicker than cream of wheat.  Spread on the sides and bottom of a 8 1/2 x 13 inch cake pan.

I added a can of creamed corn (Zero points) to the chili because that’s an ingredient in my tamale pie. Then I added the chili mixture into the masa lined pan between two sparse layers of broken tortilla chips. Not a lot of chips...I used two servings. I’ve always done this and it adds flavor and helps hold the pie together. Top with 3/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese. Cook one hour at 350 degrees. This made 8 generous servings, and is even better on day two because the masa is firmer after it’s cooled and re-heated.

I called this leftover makeover Chicken Tamale Pie Add-On,  since I couldn’t use the recipe as an ingredient (wouldn’t that be a good idea?), and it was 5 points. So you can enter the Taco Chicken Chili serving and the Add-on for a total of Five points. To be honest, I just entered the add-on points since the filling was zero.

That’s it! Easy-peazy leftover makeover that is delicious!

Keep at it. We’re in this for life right?

Friday, July 13, 2018

I’m back!

Well, I guess one thing most of us have in common is gaining back lost weight, which I’ve done over the past few years. I dabbled in vegan and then went to vegetarian, hoping to improve my health stats, but unexpectedly, my numbers went the wrong way, and I realized that as hard as I was trying (beans, beans, beans), I was protein deficit. I did find great recipes and actually learned to enjoy Almond and Soy milk (they last in the fridge for a LONG time) So, I plan to continue those things, but decided to add animal protein back into my diet.

My doctor said what I needed most is to lose weight, but once I decided she was right, I felt confused how to eat after totally buying into the vegetarian way.  But then I realized that I already knew what to do:  eat a balanced diet and apply The Weight Watchers principles and count points.

So, since then, I’ve already lost ten pounds and fit back into a pair of pants I didn’t last month. Also, my blood pressure has gone back to normal and my doctor is pleased with me! That’s the motivation I needed!

Expect some new thoughts and recipes this year!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cauliflower Bacon Salad

This recipe is quickly becoming my favorite side dish. My daughter loves it and she isn't even on a diet!  I plan on bringing it to barbecues and family events instead of potato salad.

Makes 8 servings (1 cup each)
WW+ points:  3

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup green pepper, sliced or chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup red pepper, sliced or chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, uncooked
  • Onion, either green onions or red onion, in an amount to your preference, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise light (35 calories per T)
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar substitute

1. In 8 cup container, combine cauliflower, peppers, onion, cheese and bacon
2. In bowl stir sugar substitute into mayonnaise and then add to container over vegetables
3. Stir together and refrigerate several hours or overnight, stirring a few times
4. Stir before serving
Salt and pepper can be added (I prefer mine a bit sweet so I don't add salt)
You can use either one whole green or red pepper if preferred, I just like using half of both for the color.
No need to cook the peas, they defrost in the salad in a short period of time

Nutritional Info:

Calories 131

Fat 6.5 g
  Saturated 1.1 g
Carbs 10.9 g
Fiber 3.9 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 9.2 g
Sodium  188 mg   


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Seven Layer Salad

I recently decided to make one of my favorite overnight salads, a recipe that I originally got from my sister-in-law: the Seven Layer Salad.  As I made it I added up the points and was happy to learn that it was Weight Watchers friendly! One serving is very generous and filling! Here it is:

Makes 4 generous servings

Weight Watchers Points:
Total Salad - 20 Points
Per Serving - 5 Points

1 head Iceberg Lettuce
1/2 cup purple onion
I head cauliflower
Peas, canned or frozen, approximately 1 cup (add 3 pts for each additional cup)
1 jar Bacon Bits or equivalent crispy fried bacon
8 Tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 to 1cup grated Parmesan cheese, enough to cover


In a large cylindrical container with airtight lid, layer ingredients in the following order:

Bite sized pieces of Lettuce
Thinly sliced or diced purple onion
Bite sized pieces of cauliflower
Peas (if using frozen no need to cook)
Bacon bits or crumbled bacon

Spread mayonnaise over salad like you are frosting it.  Be sure to cover salad entirely right to the edges. (Leaving holes or not frosting to the edge will allow flavors to escape and lettuce to wilt.)

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of mayo.

Cover tightly and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  Overnight is best.

Scoop out a serving, mix it up and enjoy!!

Note: Points may vary based on the mayonnaise you use and if you add more bacon, etc.  Also I didn't put this in the WW recipe builder, but instead just added points for the items that weren't vegetables. I rounded up for my total point count. Double check for your own purposes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet from Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has a good Cheat Sheet to use when choosing between Holiday dishes.  This article provides good tips and an interactive Thanksgiving plate that you can load up with the choices you might make.

Here's the article:

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet
Article By: Leslie Fink, MS, RD

For some of us, Thanksgiving is a simple turkey dinner and a time to give thanks. But for many, it's an eating orgy and a six-week countdown to the same lose-weight-and-get-back-in-shape New Year's resolution that we make year after year…after year.
Break the cycle this holiday season. Enjoy Thanksgiving but don't overindulge; head into the New Year feeling confident, slimmer and in control.

Ready, set, eat
Consider the worst-case scenario: If you were to eat a serving of dark-meat turkey with all the fixings and sides on the plate above, it would total a whopping 40 PointsPlus® values. Here's how to slash that number:

Continue Reading on Weight Watcher's Site Here.

Chex Party Mix Points

I've been planning for Thanksgiving over the past few days, and I'm sure you have been too.  Even though I know I'll rack up a bunch of WW points on Thursday, I've been good and staying the course since I started back up on Weight Watchers. Today was my weekly weigh-in and I'm happy to report that I lost 1 1/2 pounds.

Today I started making the snacks I'll serve to my family, one being our traditional Chex Mix which will get snacked on before and after dinner.  As I posted earlier, I'm calculating every dish I'm making for Thursday so I won't have to do that then, or eat something with a mystery point value and feel surprised and guilty afterward.  Also, I'm not necessarily trying to reduce points for a traditional dish, because I'd rather eat less of something I love than more of something that tastes wrong.  Of course, I will substitute where it doesn't matter.

Here's how our Traditional Chex Mix turned out (calculation may be slightly off):

9 cups Chex (I just used Rice this time)
1 cup Cheerios
2 cups zero fat pretzel sticks
2 cups Cheezits
1 1/2 cups cashews
6 tablespoons Smart Balance
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teas seasoning salt
3/4 teas garlic powder
1/2 teas onion powder

Appx Total Points:100
Appx Per cup: 6

Now I know what I'm getting myself into when I start snacking on this goodie.  If you adjust this recipe to lower points successfully, please post your changes! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WW Points for My Thanksgiving Feast

Images provided by

My daughters and I are already planning the menu for Thanksgiving.  I know that day will be a day filled with tempting food with lots of WW Points, but I don't dread it.  As I posted before, I plan to enjoy it.

I recently started tracking using the iTrackBites app on my phone just to get in the habit of tracking, intending to really limit points after the holidays, but as soon as I started tracking, I started caring again and have stayed within my 26 points for 3 days.  I guess I'm on the wagon again!

I've already looked up the WW pts for the foods we will be serving.  No matter how I might gorge myself, I vow to track all the points I consume all day.  Basically, these are the foods we are now planning to serve for our Thanksgiving and their WW pt values:

Ham, per slice                                     3 Pts         

Scalloped Potatoes, 1/2 cup                5 Pts

Green Bean Casserole, 1 1/2 cups       4 Pts

Roasted vegetables, 1 1/2 cups            2 Pts

Stuffing, Stove Top 1/2 cup                  5 Pts

Gravy, Heinz HomeStyle, 1/2 cup        1 Pt

1 serving is 1/8 of a 9 inch pie:

Pecan Pie                                           14 Pts

Pumpkin Pie                                       11 Pts

Caramel Apple Pie                              11 Pts

I figure my meal point total will be between 30 and 35 points. Of course we'll have other goodies like a cheese ball and crackers, plus some snacks when we play games later in the day.  I can track that as I go.

My rule is to calculate everything ahead of time, so I can choose how to best use my points. I'm okay if I use my daily and all of my weekly points on Thanksgiving.  This is NOT a day to stress over Points...but I find KNOWING helps me choose better during the holiday and feel better afterward!

Hope your Thanksgiving is full of family, food, and fun!

New Food Find: Banquet Cheesy Potato Bake

I just started buying this product.  I used to buy a similar meal made by Lean Cuisine (Cheddar Potatoes with Broccoli), but I haven't been able to find it anymore.  When I saw this in the Banquet section I figured I'd give it a try. It is very similar to the Lean Cuisine version and is much cheaper at $1.00! The iTrackBites scanner give a WW point value at 5 which is the same as the Lean Cuisine meal.  The nutritional content is somewhat different has 2 g more fat  4 g less protein, 6 g less carbs, and 180 mg more sodium, with 10 less calories.

Overall I say .... Score!