Zero Point Marinara

I get strange looks when I walk down the hall of my office carrying a stemless wine glass.   I should just throw a box of wine in the office refrigerator to really get them talking!  It’s the perfect size for my parfait.  Hannah actually had bought Great Value (Walmart) brand Greek yogurt and it was delicious!  It wasn’t until just now when I looked to see what size container it was, that I actually READ the container and it was whole milk yogurt – so what I thought was 3 points was now 6!  Totally fine because I had weeklies left yesterday, so this parfait is actually 9 points not 6 like I posted on Instagram.  No wonder it was so delicious!

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Another gorgeous day in the books in Chicago.  I again just wore a light jacket to work.  I had to run an errand for work, but got in a lot of steps in the process. 

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There are some mornings that I feel like I have all the time in the world, and other mornings where I look up and I’ve got ten minutes to get my shit together and out the door.  That was me yesterday – although I hadn’t packed my lunch yet.  I contemplated just picking something up downtown for lunch because I hadn’t touched my $20 weekly budget for eating out yet.  But you know I love a good “throw shit in a bag!” lunch.

  • 2 leaves of romaine
  • a grilled bone in chicken breast
  • red cabbage
  • Trader Joe’s reduced guilt chunky guacamole

And with that and leftover fruit from a work meeting, chicken lettuce wraps it was!  It wasn’t until I put it in the WW app, that I realized my lunch was only 4 points.  3 for the chicken, 1 for the guacamole.

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I really really love this guacamole – it’s made with Greek yogurt, and I am loving it even though I believe there are green onions in there.  It’s got that nice tang from the yogurt, and a bit of spice.  I think it was $2.29 for that container?

I thought I was going to go to my sisters office after work for their chili cookoff.  Usually everyone hangs out and drinks, hence my low points going into dinner, but they had another event immediately after and by the time I would have gotten there, the chili contest would have been over.  The good news is that Jennifer won!   And she won with award winning buffalo chicken chili – the only thing she switched up was she used ground turkey breast instead of chicken, but still won.   Whoop!  If you ever need to enter a chili contest, use this recipe, because everyone who has done that since 2010 when I first published it has won best chili – whether it is at an office party, or block party.

So on the Plan B.  But here’s the thing about only eating 10 points (well, now 13 points!) before dinner.  I was really hungry.  So I picked up Garrett’s popcorn (light butter) and ate that on my train ride home – that little snack set me back 7 points, but totally worth it.

Last weekend Hannah and Jacob had people over for a bonfire and they bought snacks.  They had a whole veggie tray leftover and Hannah was going to throw it out.  What?!  While I could have chopped up the veggies and frozen them for soup, I decided to make an oven roasted marinara with the leftover veggies.

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  • 4-6 cups mixed raw veggies
  • Pam spray
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400.  On parchment paper, place the veggies on the cookie sheet and spray with Pam, salt and pepper.  Roast for 25-30 minutes, just until the veggies start to soften.  In a large stock pot, add the roasted veggies, crushed tomatoes, garlic, beef broth (starting with 1/2 a cup) Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper.  Simmer for 30 minutes, then using a stick blender blend away.  This is where you may want to add the additional 1/2 cup of beef broth to get to your desired consistency.

I went to measure out the 2 ounce portion of pasta, and can we just say that it’s a bullshit amount of pasta?  I still remember one of the first meals Tony made me.  It was pasta with a rosemary garlic olive oil sauce and it was spectacular.  He brought a bowl into the living room (yep, couldn’t get him to eat in the dining room!) and handed it to me.  I thought that was the serving dish and he left to get dishes to put it on.  Nope, he went to the kitchen and brought me a fork – it was all for me!  Even eating probably a couple cups of pasta, I went to the kitchen and measured out six MORE cups of pasta in my bowl.  No wonder I gained 25 pounds the first six months we were together. Open-mouthed smile

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Thanks to my sister for giving the Vegetti to my Mom, who I then stole it from.  It cleans up really easy, doesn’t take up too much room and this really bulked up my pasta.  All I did was add the zoodles to the pasta water the last minute the pasta cooked.  It will be a bit crunchy, but after it’s drained, the pasta will continue to steam the zucchini.

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The meatball was from Sam’s Club – I didn’t keep the package, but it’s 5 smart points for one.  I only ate half of it because it was really salty for some reason.  I counted dinner as 9 points, so I was at 29/30 for the day.

So it’s another WI day – didn’t that week go by fast!  The night before last I had a dream that I went to my WW meeting and Oprah weighed me in.  I stepped on the scale and it said I was up 4.5 pounds.  And I was telling her “that’s impossible – I still have weekly points left!” and she said “Biz, think about it” and went on to tell me I was only cheating on myself by not tracking everything I ate. Smile with tongue out

Again, no idea how I’ll do, but my sister and I are Team WW Twins and we will not miss a weigh in or a meeting if we can help it.

Hope you have an amazing day! 


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  • Shelley B
    February 23, 2017 at 7:43 am You know it's bad when Dream Oprah is chastising you. ;)
    • Biz319
      February 23, 2017 at 9:47 pm Thank goodness it wasn't a premonition! :D
  • Ann
    February 23, 2017 at 9:04 am I just want to say how much I love your blog. It makes my day!! Proud of you for everything you are doing.
    • Biz319
      February 23, 2017 at 9:48 pm Eek! Thanks Ann - that comment made my day! :D Thanks for reading :D
  • Helen
    February 23, 2017 at 9:18 am You're right - 2 oz of pasta is bullshit! So much so that I find I either need to bulk it up with zoodles like you did, or just save it for a treat day and eat whatever I want. Also, every time someone shares a fabulous Trader's Joe's product, it makes me mad that we don't have one around here. Sigh.
    • Biz319
      February 23, 2017 at 9:54 pm That stinks that you don't have a TJ near you :( It was actually really filling once I bulked it up with the pasta :D
  • Melly
    February 23, 2017 at 11:20 am Thank you for the comment on the supposed portion size of pasta!!!! I totally agree! The only time that amount works is if it's in a soup with a lot of other stuff. Great marina tecipe to use up leftovers! I really appreciate all the low calorie meals your showing too. I would love a post about your favorite weight watchers-friendly products from Trader Joe's or elsewhere
    • Biz319
      February 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm I actually don't grocery shop all that often at Trader Joe's because it's in a direction I hardly ever go in. Check out this Pinterest page though! https://www.pinterest.com/Ifyouhaveanegg/trader-joes-finds-with-smart-points-values-listed/
  • Kym
    February 23, 2017 at 11:52 am Look at you thinking of a way to use up all those veggies. I need to invent a transporter machine so I can have you peek in my refrigerator and tell me how to re-purpose our leftovers. I get so angry when I throw things out. My daughter is the worst. Her go to quote " I forgot that was there". I love how your fruit parfaits always look so enticing.
    • Biz319
      February 23, 2017 at 10:01 pm You should text me a picture sometime! :D It will be like a virtual episode of Chopped :D OMG, that one was especially delicious because of the whole fat yogurt :D
      • Kym
        February 24, 2017 at 8:02 am OMG, a virtual episode of Chopped. I LOVE IT!!!!
  • Melanie
    February 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm Well, heck! I never thought about adding zoodles to pasta...! Not a fan of zoodles but I could probably make it work mixed in with pasta...Thanks for sharing! :)
    • Biz319
      February 23, 2017 at 10:04 pm I agree that I don't like zoodles by themselves - it's like when people tell you that cauliflower mashed potatoes taste like mashed potatoes. Um, not it doesn't taste like mashed potatoes - it tastes like cauliflower :P