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Seafood/ Soup/ Weight Watchers

Thai Shrimp Noodle Soup

I had a loss last week!  -.6, but I’ll take it.  Um, maybe there was some leftover wine from the celebration memorial for Jacob’s grandma, and maybe I had wine a couple nights last week.  

I am totally fine with it – while the scale is moving slower, today I am wearing a pair of pants that Hannah gave me for Christmas that I couldn’t zip up, so that’s progress. 

I ran a coupe errands after WW then drove to my Mom’s house for the first of two memorials I had this weekend.  My Mom made tomato soup, but I couldn’t each much of it, because it was chock full of onions.  Ew.  It tasted great besides that – she added pesto to the soup and that really kicked it up.  I’d make the recipe, except leave out the stinky onions. 

The Memorial on Saturday was an 82 year old man, who was from my Mom’s church and who I grew up with his kids.  So many flowers!  They had tons of pictures too, and they had one that said “World Traveler” and had dozens of places he’d traveled over the years – from Switzerland to China!  It was a lovely service and good to see some people I hadn’t seen in years.

It started snowing when I left my Mom’s house and it took me nearly an hour and forty minutes to get home.  Luckily my appetizer board didn’t take too long to put together.  Basically the only thing I cooked was the steak. I had mini Italian beef sandwiches, bread sticks, garlic green beans (which are great room temperature) nuts, apples, cheese slices, grapes and of course, Certified Angus Beef two ways – one was just sliced and the second was a steak crostini with roasted red pepper sauce and sauteed mushrooms.

Hannah made her famous sushi, Brett made teriyaki beef cups and shrimp, Amy made sour cream cheese balls and Robyn made a delicious crab dip.  It was a fun night and nice to catch up.

They had so many dogs!  Two were Robyn’s and the great dane is my neighbors – all so sweet.  Rummy and Roman smelled me for at least 30 minutes when I got home.

Sunday Hannah came with me for the second memorial – a woman on my Mom’s old block who battled brain cancer for the last three years – she was only 59.  Her kids and Hannah were block buddies growing up – they pretty much played outside all day long in the summer.

Mom suggested we go to Sen Sushi in Oak Park.  So good!  And why am I not drinking cucumber water every.single.day – delish.

We started with the chicken and cilantro wontons.  Perfection!  I had two and it was the perfect start to the meal.  

Mom and Hannah got the bento boxes, but I decided to start with the kabocha soup with Alaskan crab – so velvety good.  If I could have licked the bowl, I would have.

Then I finished my meal with the age-dashi tofu.  Drop the mic on this one – the broth was so complex, the tofu was so tender, yet crispy.   I will definitely go back – and next time Jacky, hopefully you will be in town the next time I come to Oak Park – I have the uncanny ability of going to Oak Park every time my friend Jacky is not there.

When I realized Brett made a shrimp dish, I didn’t put my shrimp cocktail out, so I had a lot leftover.  I found a way to make the best shrimp cocktail years ago and this recipe never fails – you can get it here.

Hannah and Jacob went to his grandpas house for dinner, so I was on my own.  I decided to make a Thai shrimp noodle soup for dinner.  I have no idea if this is remotely Thai, but that’s what I am calling it.

Thai Shrimp Noodle Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: :5

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 ounces chopped cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 cup cooked noodles

Instructions

1

In a stock pot, add all the ingredients except the cilantro, pasta and shrimp. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the shrimp and noodles and let sit for 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

This is 5 points on the WW #freestyle program, or 6 points if you are doing Back to 30 points.

It’s so simple, and a great way to use up leftover shrimp.

So while I had two memorials this weekend, it was nice spending time with my Mom and Hannah.  

We are supposed to have temps in the 50s the next couple days, but of course, rainy.  This is the time of year that my basement tends to flood because when the ground is still frozen and we get a lot of rain, there is no where for the rain water to go but in my basement.  But Hannah and Jacob are home, so I hope they can pay attention to the sump pumps in the basement – one has to manually be turned on.  Fingers crossed!

Happy Monday my friends – what was the highlight of your weekend?

Seafood/ Weight Watchers

Shrimp and Grits

Do you guys love Dave Chappelle??  Tony and I used to watch his HBO specials all the time.  I saw this meme on Connect yesterday and it made me laugh out loud – hopefully some of you will think this is funny too. 😀 

A simple hash was breakfast yesterday – have you tried Ore Ida Southwestern Hash?  It’s 3 points a cup and its really spicy and delicious.  I scrambled mine with one egg, spinach, and had fruit on the side with a tablespoon of granola for 6 points.  If you are counting Weight Watchers #freestyle, this would be 4 points.

I was able to   get away and walk with my sister – it was still a bit chilly so we walked Macy’s.  I finally found my fitbit this morning.  I thought it was on maybe a piece of clothing that was in my laundry basket, but it was underneath my bed!  It must have fallen off my night stand or maybe one of the dogs knocked it off.  I mean, I don’t need my fitbit to tell me I’ve moved, but I do strive to meet at least 10k a day.

I bought a pork tenderloin for myself over the weekend.  I am the only one who likes pork in my house, so instead of roasting the whole tenderloin, I sliced it into 4 ounce pork chops.  I had a small piece leftover and made a quick pork bbq – with Blackwood BBQ Carolina sauce – so good!   Lunch came in at 7 points – those my friends are baked Cheetos on my plate – so good and only 2 points for 16 which is perfect.

Later in the afternoon we got an email from the office of the building asking everyone to stay put – we weren’t technically on a lock down, but the front of our building which faces the Thompson Center, had reports of open fire.  It wasn’t until I got home that I found out that a high ranking officer was shot and killed responding to a robbery attempt.  So sad.

Makes you stop and remember that each day of life is a gift!

******************

I knew I had a container of quick cooking grits, but after the kitchen intervention Hannah had, I can’t find a damn thing.  I did have white cornmeal though – is that the same thing as grits?? 

Um, turns out, no – I posted that on Connect and Instagram last night and my southern friends were like “Biz – cornmeal is for cornbread and coating for fried green tomatoes!”  Other people said they are close enough to pass as grits, all I know is that this dish is delicious.  So I may have made shrimp and polenta?? 😀

This came together in about 10 minutes tops.  The hero of this dish though is the Cabot cheese.  I only used 1/2 an ounce but it’s so rich and delicious.  

 

Shrimp and Grits

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup white cornmeal
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 ounce Cabot extra sharp cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon whipped butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1

In a small pot, add the water and 1/4 cup of cornmeal, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, put a lid on the pot and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the cheese, bacon bits, and salt and pepper to taste.

2

Season the shrimp generously with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet (or nonstick) to medium high heat, and add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, butter, creole seasoning and stir for another minute.

3

To plate, put the grits on the plate. Arrange the shrimp on the grits, and then drizzle the butter pan sauce over the top, and garnish with dried parsley.

Notes

This dish is 8 smart points if you are doing back to 30, or 7 points if you are doing Weight Watchers freestyle.

 

This was so good – the shrimp was spicy from the creole seasoning the grits (er, polenta?) was creamy with the salty notes from the cheese and bacon bits.  I could easily eat this once a week and never get sick of it.  I was definitely a member of the clean plate club last night!

Happy Valentine’s Day – or Happy Velatini Day as Tony would have said 😀  If you are lucky enough to have your significant other or spouse – give them an extra hug and a kiss today, and if they ask why, tell them Biz told you to do it. 😀

Make it a great day! 

Bread/ Weight Watchers

Simple Naan Bread

Having decided mid-week that I was switching back to the Weight Watchers program in the middle of last week, I can’t tell you how many messages I got telling me there is a Facebook Group called Return to 30 that is 8000 members strong of people going back to the program before Freestyle.

I am not knocking the freestyle program at all.  If it works for you, that’s awesome.  I only knew that it wasn’t working for me, after giving it nearly six weeks, so if that means tweaking my program so be it.

I also received several comments telling me that I should stop worrying about my weight, and if I am happy with my life, why don’t I just focus on the positives.  Which I do, but I know I will feel better at least 25 pounds less – then I can happily maintain that weight.

Having switched on Tuesday, I didn’t know what my weigh in would be, but was thrilled to see -1.2!  I love more in the last four days of the week than I did the previous three weeks!  So this week will be the true test after going back to 30 for a full week.

Saturday I spent part of my day cooking for my friend MaryBeth and her family – they just adopted their fourth baby (4 kids now under the age of 6!) so I signed up for their meal train to provide a meal for them tonight.  Um, turns out I like to cook, so I may have made them a lot of food – I figure if they don’t have freezer space they can keep the food outside since it’s still so cold here.

Saturday night we had a memorial party for Jacob’s grandma.  If you remember, she passed away on December 2 (the same day Tony died) but Saturday was her birthday so we had a nice buffet dinner and closet to 80 people fought the snow and cold to make it.  She was rich with friends and some of the stories I heard wished I had known her long enough to know her better.

Below is a picture of her when she was I think 17, right before she got pregnant with Jacob’s Mom.  Jacob’s Mom also had kids young, and I believe she had her first grandchild when she was 39?!  I don’t know if it’s because his grandparents, parents, and brother had kids so young, that Jacob vowed that would never happen to him.  I am not sure Hannah and Jacob even want kids, but who knows?

It was a fun night, and I think I ended up with 53 points for the day on Saturday – good thing my weekly points started over on Saturday!

One of the dishes I made for MaryBeth and her family is chicken tikka masala – which is a dish I know she and her husband love.  You can’t really have chicken tikka masala without naan bread, right?!

I took a Jamie Oliver recipe and tweaked it a bit – I still think yeast adds to the flavor, even if this is not a dough that has to rise.   I also added baking powder, which I don’t think I’ve added to naan bread recipes I’ve done in the past.

The dough is so light!!

Simple Naan Bread

Print Recipe
Serves: 12 Cooking Time: :20

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces self-rising flour (I used Gold Medal)
  • 10 ounces plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • up to 1/4 cup water (optional)*

Instructions

1

Mix the flour, yeast, salt, and baking powder together. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Mix together with a fork until it starts to form a dough ball - if the mixture is a bit dry, add up to 1/4 cup of water, starting with 2 tablespoons.

2

Form the dough into 12 balls (each of mine were about 2.3 ounces each)

3

Brush a non-stick pan with a bit of grape seed oil, roll out the dough into a 5 inch circle, brush the top of the naan with a bit more oil, add any seasonings you want (I did dried onion on a few and everything but the bagel seasoning) and once you see bubbles start to form on the top of the dough - its time to flip. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes on the second side.

4

These will store in the fridge for a week, or they freeze well.

Notes

I added this to the WW recipe builder and even if you are doing #freestyle or #backto30, they are each 3 points each.

 

I made a bit extra tikka masala to have for my lunch – so good!  I tweaked my marinade recipe a bit and will post this recipe later this week – best one yet!

Hannah’s friend Mel and her son came over and spent the afternoon with us.  They have these sushi making parties about once a month, they are both in love with sushi.  My sister bought her sushi knives for Christmas and it’s the first time she used them – the sushi cut like buttah.

As a thank you for the party on Saturday night, Jacob’s grandpa took us out to dinner last night, which was sweet.  I got a Stella on tap (5) and ate half of a swiss mushroom burger (10) and a bit of saganaki (3),

Hannah wanted to know if my burger was cooked – ha – love a medium rare/rare burger!

And I still have 11 weeklies left for the week – so no problem staying on track this week.  

We have more deep freeze today, but hope to warm up to 40 by the middle of the week, then temps in the 30s – I’ll take that.  Hopefully it will melt all our snow.  All told, I think my town got about 14 inches of snow from Thursday through Sunday morning.

I know today will be busy with the snow day on Friday so I’ll just keep my head down and power through. 

Happy Monday – make it a great day friends!