I’m trucking along. I’m out of town visiting my mother. And I usually lose a little weight even if I don’t try when I’m at her house. That’s probably a good lesson in not keeping things I shouldn’t eat at my house. There are no chips, candy, and other temptations here!
I made a WW-friendly vegetable beef soup today, and it is delicious! The video will walk you through how to make it. The recipe is below.
The soup base is:
1 lb. 96% lean ground beef (10 WW Blue points)
2-3 can diced tomatoes (0 points)
1 can tomato sauce (0 points)
1 quart beef broth (0 point)*
approx. 1 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery (0 points)
Salt and pepper, to taste (0 points)
Directions: Brown the ground beef in a large soup pot. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Salt and pepper, to taste.
Now add your vegetables – I usually buy a bag of frozen soup vegetables. However, you can use fresh, frozen, or canned (drain canned vegetables) – corn, carrots, peas, beans, garlic, peppers, potatoes (count the points for potatoes).
Bring to a boil. You can add more beef broth if the soup is too thick. Let the soup simmer for a couple hours to thoroughly meld all the flavors.
This soup will keep in the refrigerator for several days, and it freezes well.
POINTS: I add additional beef broth, if needed, to bring my total amount to 18 cups – which equals 18 servings.
10 total points divided by 18 servings – .555 points (which rounds of to 1 point.
*Some beef broths scan as 0 points for a quart, and some scan as 1 or 2 points for a quart. It depends on the fat content of the particular broth you buy. Scan the broth you use to figure your points. However, even at 2 points a quart, the total still equals less than 1 point per cup/serving.
It’s Friday – which means it is my official weigh-in date. In terms of weight loss, this is the best week I’ve had since I started on 7/19/2020. The 2.8 lbs lost is measured from last Friday (10/9/2020) to today – one week.
It is interesting to note that this week I used all my daily points, all my weekly points, and even went into the negative numbers on weekly points. I don’t think I could consistently eat that much and continue to lose, but maybe it was a re-set of some kind . . . or who knows? I’m grateful for it.
I had a videohealth doctor’s appointment yesterday – and I will go in for blood work and my flu shot and pneumonia shot and to see the doctor in person next week. I’m hoping my blood work will be improved (sugar, cholesterol, etc.) after three months of cleaner eating. Stay tuned.
My take-away from yesterday’s doctor’s appointment is a renewed commitment to clean eating – with as little processed food as possible. It is so tempting when trying to lose weight to want to use artificial sweeteners and processed foods because the calories & points are more controlled. However, this is more than than a weight loss diet. I want to create eating habits that I can sustain for the rest of my life. And I don’t want artificial and processed foods to be more than an occasional part of my life.
Oh yes! One thing I’ve been doing differently is that I’m on an herbal tea kick. I’ve been drinking herbal tea during the day, and I always drink a cup before going to bed. So maybe that is helping, too.
I wanted a hot dog – particularly a pig-in-a-blanket. And I knew I needed two things to make them: bread dough and hog dogs. First, the dough.
My Bizzy Kitchen has a pizza dough that can be used in many ways, and I like it much better than the 2-ingredient dough because it doesn’t have the strong tangy taste of the Greek Yogurt. You can find the recipe here. It’s quick and easy to put together. Make a batch of the dough, divide it into four equal portions. Put three of the portions into individual zip-lock bags. You can use those portions for individual pizzas or bagels or whatever bread product you’d like. The dough will be good in your refrigerator for at least a few days.
You will use the other portion (1/4 of the recipe) for these pigs-in-a-blanket.
Next, the hots dogs. Hebrew National has great hog dogs, and they have two that can be confusing – a “reduced fat” and a “97% Fat Free” version.
Get the HEBREW NATIONAL 97% FAT FREE BEEF FRANKS. They are only 1 WW Blue point each – and they taste really good!
Take four hot dogs out of the package. Take your dough (which is 1/4 of the recipe) and divide it into four equal portions. Take one portion and roll it into a long snake-like shape and wrap it around one of the hot dogs. The dough might be sticky – use just a little extra flour to make it workable
Sorry, but I forgot to take photos of the four pigs-in-a-blanket ready to go into the oven. However the other three looked just like the one shown above.
Note: I THINK that you could probably get away with dividing the dough into six portions and making six Pigs-in-a-blanket instead of four. It would bring down the number of points each, too. I intend to do that next time.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes – until bread is nicely browned. The hot dogs are already fully cooked, and so you have to worry about whether they are done. As long as they’re hot, they’re good to go.
POINTS (WW Blue Plan)
1 Pig-in-a-blanket = 2 points (hotdog-1, dough-1)
2 Pigs-in-a-blanket = 5 points (hotdogs-2, dough-3)
3 Pigs-in-a-blanket = 7 points (hotdogs-3, dough-4)
4 Pigs-in-a-blanket = 9 points (hotdogs-4, dough-5)
I love meatloaf, and so I made it this afternoon. We had it for dinner tonight. It is 3 points per serving (WW Blue Plan). Here’s the recipe:
2 lb. ground beef, 96% lean (20 points)
6 slices light bread (1 point per slice = 6 points total)
4 eggs (0 points)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (0 points)
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (0 points)
Salt/pepper/garlic salt – to taste (0 points)
Instructions: Dump all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Use hands to mix well (I wear gloves). Season (salt, pepper, garlic salt, etc.) to your preference. Form two loaves. Each loaf has four servings. Bake at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes – or until meat thermometer placed in the center of the loaf register 160 degrees.
I usually cook one loaf and wrap the other loaf in aluminum foil and freeze it for another meal in a couple weeks.
Points: 26 points total for 8 servings. That equals to 3.25 points per serving. So if you have two servings, that would be 6.5 points which would round off to 7.
Tomato Topping For Meatloaf
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
salt/pepper – to taste
Instructions: Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. You can cook longer if you want the onion and pepper to be softer. Spoon over meatloaf when served. Points – 0 points for each 1/2 cup serving
I put together some meal plans for breakfast – things that I like. I included the number of points (WW – Blue Plan), and links the specific recipes.
I did not include any “overnight oats” or “smoothie” recipes because I don’t ever eat those.
The list is in pdf form – so you can click the link and print it for easy reference.
From Living Real With Carol
September has come and gone, and a new month has begun. Here are my goals for October:
- Make a list of meals that work for me. I want to plan ahead so I don’t waste so much food. Those plans will be food that I like. I started on this last night – writing out meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with snacks and desserts. I plan to convert them to pdf and post them on this website.
- Build on the exercise routine I started in September. That means doing circuit work in my exercise room, along with having the goal of at least 5K steps each day.
- Continue with self-care routines – skin care, bedtime herbal tea, prayer and meditation time each day.
I will stop there. My tendency is to go overboard on plans, but the reality is that they need to be kept small and do-able.
With the month being such a challenge, I’m thrilled that I ended up with a loss at all. I had some NSVs this month (non-scale victories), as well.
- I worked more on self-care. I started a skin care routine. Since the first of September, I’ve had a nightly ritual of washing my face with a good quality cleanser, using a toner and night cream on my face. I spent my 71 years taking my good skin for granted. I have always worn makeup every day, but I rarely took it off before going to bed. I’d take off the old makeup immediately before putting on fresh makeup each morning. No more.
- Part of my self-care has been another nightly routine of sipping a large cup of herbal tea prior to going to bed. That’s actually rather funny because I had a box of herbal teas that sat on my kitchen counter for a couple years, and I never drank any of it. So I gave it away a few months ago. Now I’m drinking it every night. That’s okay, though. A new box should be delivered today, and I already have the teas the fill it.
- I have been exercising more. Not a lot, but I’ve made a start, and that’s good. We have a great exercise room with all the equipment I could ever want. So I have no excuse for not exercising.
- I’ve gotten back into reading the Bible and having a morning devotional. That’s something I’ve done off and on for a long time. I’ve been consistent with it the past month.
So, even with the challenges, I am pleased with how September ended. The total weight I’ve lost since I began on July 19th is 8.4 lbs. Slow and steady . . . .
So here is the revised recipe:
Make the dough first. This makes four servings.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Prepare a small baking dish with a sheet of parchment paper or a spray of butter-flavored PAM.
- Set aside about 1/4 cup of the flour to use later.
- In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup of the flour with the yeast and salt.
- Add the yogurt and warm water and mix well. You should have a sticky ball of dough
- Sprinkle some of the reserved flour on a clean counter or pastry mat. (I actually used a paper towel).
- Dump out the dough onto the floured mat.
- Sprinkle more of the reserved flour on the dough, gently fold it over, and repeat until a good ball of dough is formed. Knead the rest of the flour into the dough.
- Spray your hands with Pam, take the dough and form it into 4 balls of equal size.
- Note: If you want to make only one or two servings, before cooking at all, wrap the unused dough in a ziplock bag and keep it in the refrigerator till you’re ready to use it. The extra can be used for this recipe, pizza dough, or any other dish requiring bread.
- Roll each ball into a long log shape and then press the ends together to form a circle, and place the 4 circles on the baking sheet. Make the circle large enough to hold an egg in the middle.
- (optional) Let rise for about 30 minutes. This step will make the dough rise more, but it is delicious without this step.
- Bake at 475 degrees for about 4-6 minutes until puffed but not browned.
- Remove baking sheet from oven.
Toppings: Here is a photo of my toppings – chopped tomatoes, grated Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, a slice of Canadian bacon, finely chopped onion, chopped spinach leaves.
- Working quickly so the biscuit doesn’t cool too much, place a slice of Canadian bacon underneath each of the biscuit circles.
- Crack an egg into each biscuit cup. If you look at the photos below, you will see that the egg white flowed over the top of the biscuit, but it was okay. When I took them out of the oven, they were fine.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add other toppings, as desired – just keep track of the points.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue baking until the biscuits are golden and the egg whites are set, about 10 minutes more.
(Photo below) It’s ready to go in the oven! I’ve piled on so many toppings that you can’t even see the egg except for where part of the white overflowed at the top of the photo. You will see in the next photo that after it has cooked, the white overflowing doesn’t make any difference – still delicious!
And here it is – ready to eat. Absolutely delicious!
Counting the points: Each biscuit (4 biscuits per recipe) is 3 points. Add the points for any toppings you add.
2-Point Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups Self-rising flour (16 points)
1 cup monkfruit granuated sweetener (0 points)
1 egg (0 points)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (0 points)
3 medium bananas, mashed (0 points)
Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Pour into a loaf pan (5″ x 10″)
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45-55 minutes (depending on your oven) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cut into 8 equal slices. Each slice is 2 points.
My verdict: It is very moist. It took longer to bake than I thought it would. Let it cool before slicing it. Next time I will decrease the monkfruit sweetener. For me, it was a little too sweet. The bananas and applesauce have natural sweetness. So a full cup of additional sweetener is too much. If I wanted to go all natural and add regular sugar to this recipe instead of the monkfruit sweetener, it would add 3 points to each slice (1/2 cup sugar = 24 points).