Pork Chops with Cherry Couscous from Cooking Light – original recipe

This recipe sounded great, but since my grocery store isn’t carrying cherries yet, I substituted fresh cherries for dried ones. It came out great, and I think it might actually be an improvement!

My Version

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted almonds, chopped
  • grated lemon rind of 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. 1. Preheat grill-pan to medium-high heat.
  2. 2. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over both sides of pork, and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place pork on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let pork stand for 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Place couscous in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup boiling water; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cherries, and remaining ingredients. Serve with pork.

I was thrilled to find out that The Occasional Chef liked my little blog enough to select me in the 7 Links Challenge.

I wanted to repay the favor and mention other blogs that I think are worth checking out and I know I’m also supposed to do the following:

(From The Occasional Chef’s post) Select 7 posts that fall into these categories: Most Popular Post, Most Controversial Post, Most Helpful Post, Most Beautiful Post, Most Surprisingly Successful Post, Most Under-Rated Post, and Most Proud of Post.

Honestly… I’m too lazy to do that part.

But I did want to mention the blogs I enjoy:

1. The Occasional Chef

2. thebigfatnoodle

3. Mrs. Veggie Pants

4. Three Points Chicken

5. Life Starts on Friday

6. A Dash of Domestic

7. Gazing In

Ok, there you go!

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash from Cooking Light

I’m back with a new post!

And this one’s awesome, too. This recipe from Cooking Light is super yummy and is surprisingly not fattening (of course you must eat the correct portion size, which was enough for me).

We decided to try this dish because my husband and I were craving squash, as it is now fall, and fall’s cozey food is so wonderful and comforting. It takes a good hour in the oven, so it was a perfect weekend meal. Even though it takes a while to actually bake, the prep time was super quick.

For those of you who went over and took a peak at the recipe, don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of cooking a whole chicken. It’s really pretty fool-proof. Since chicken has a decent amount of fat to meat ratio, it’s hard to dry out the chicken. And when it comes to actually working with the chicken itself, you must get over the icky-factor. Trust me, it’s worth it and it’s really not that icky.

Anyway, Part of what makes this light dish such a great success is the technique of putting the seasonings for the chicken under the skin. To make this recipe non-fattening, the skin gets taken off, which is often where most of the flavor is. But by putting the seasoning under the skin, all that flavor was able to be absorbed and even stays sitting on top of the meat after the skin has been removed. One tip… the recipe says to take off the skin before serving. I think this is a good move as you won’t be as tempted to take a little bite at the dinner table if you take it off after it’s already on your plate.

I calculated the Weight Watchers Points Plus value of this to be 9 points, which is great for such a comforting meal.

Oh, and to touch on the heart burn value of this meal, it’s pretty low with the recipe as is. Even though there’s garlic in the recipe, it gets cooked down for a good hour with the chicken, so it becomes much less agitating. I did put just slightly less sage in, just in case. My husband seemed to have no directly related heart burn from this meal. (yay!)

Anyway, I definitely recommend you try this one out soon and ring in the fall season the right way. I’m happy I did.

Here’s the recipe:
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/roast-chicken-with-potatoes-butternut-squash-10000001949705/

Let me know how it goes!

Portuguese BBQ Chicken

Portuguese BBQ Chicken

Ok, I didn’t cook this one, but I found out I can actually eat Rotisserie Chicken (without the skin… I know, this is the best part, but it’s pretty freaking good without skin too) on my Weight Watchers plan! woo!

And well, ok, it wasn’t actually Rotisserie Chicken. So, there’s this place that’s a few doors down from us… a Portuguese BBQ place… the chicken is SO good. They call it BBQ, but it’s essentially cooked like it’s on a rotisserie and since this place isn’t a chain, I figured comparing it to a Boston Market Rotisserie Chicken would be fair. I found out that half a Boston Market chicken without the skin is only 8 points! So awesome. That, plus a salad, and it was a great meal.

This is one of the things I love about Weight Watchers. Things that I thought I really shouldn’t be eating, really isn’t bad after all!

Caramelized Apples

My Caramelized Apples

I told you about my snacking problem in the last post.

Well, when I’ve been stuck at home for 2 days because of a hurricane, I end up wanting to snack a lot, so I’ve been coming up with healthful, yummy snacks.

Today, I tried this. Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high heat (doesn’t have to be cast iron, but the high heat it carries helps with the caramelization process). I cut up an apple into chunks (I think I might try thinner pieces next time to get more surface area to touch the pan) and I put them in a bowl and mixed the up with a teaspoon of sugar. I put 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and when it was nice and hot, threw the apples in. Don’t stir them around too often because you want to let them get caramelized and mixing them too much won’t allow them to do that. I probably cooked them for about 10 minutes and that’s it!

This ends up being just 1 Weight Watchers point because of the oil.

Try it out!

Tomato Salad

My Tomato Salad

Hello, my name is Vicky, and I’m a snacker.

So, as you can imagine, trying to lose weight and snacking poses a bit of a problem. I’ve been finding ways to make yummy snacks for myself that are healthful and yummy at the same time.

One thing I’ve been doing that works well is a really simple tomato salad. I just cut up about a cup of tomatoes, squeeze lemon juice of half a lemon over it, sprinkle about half a teaspoon of salt on the tomatoes, and a teaspoon of good olive oil to the mixture and toss it all together! Makes a super yummy snack, in my opinion.

And really, any veggies can be added to this if you’re not as in love with tomatoes as I am. I think some cubed cucumber would be good here, some thinly sliced onion would be a good flavor booster… there’s lots of options.

So, let me know if you try it and what variations you come up with!

Shredded Rotisserie Chicken and Broccoli

Shredded Rotisserie Chicken and Broccoli

I’ve been away too long, sorry about that! But here I am, I’m back, and I’m coming up with my own recipes using leftovers!

As you can probably figure out now, we had leftover rotisserie leftover from chicken salad last week. I’ve  been really trying to not let food go to waste, and our grocery delivery hadn’t come in yet, so I decided to needed to figure something out.

We had broccoli in the fridge, so I decided to do a sort of stir-fry.

To start, I sprayed some cooking spray in the pan, which was heating on medium heat, and tossed in some chopped onion (1 medium white onion). I let those sweat out for a few minutes and added in chopped fresh broccoli (2 heads). I sauteed that for a few minutes (I like to have my cooked broccoli on the slightly crunchy side, so sautee this until the broccoli’s at your preferred tenderness). I then added in the shredded chicken (6oz: 3oz per person) and turned the heat down to let it slowly heat up until my husband came home. And voila! All done!

This turned out to be a 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus dinner and was quite filling! My husband and I were satisfied with this one and I loved how simple it was to make. Definitely going to continue to do these sorts of stir-fries with leftovers. Worked really well.

Let me know if you make this or anything like this. Let me know how it goes and what variations you try!

Summer Berry Shortcake with Goat Cheese Cream from Love & Olive Oil

Ok, it seems I’m really into goat cheese lately.

I saw this recipe for “summer berry shortcake with goat cheese cream”

It looks absolutely amazing, but I’m thinking that while the shortcake part is probably super-awesome, it doesn’t really fit into my plan to lose weight. So I was thinking, why not just leave that part out? “Goat Cheese Cream” sound decadent in itself, so I think this could be a great, pretty low-calorie way to feel like I’m indulging.

Hmm… should I try this one for a girls’ night I’m going to tonight? I think this one would be appreciated by the ladies.

I’ll let you know what happens!

Oh, and here’s the original recipe:

http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2011/07/summer-berry-shortcake-with-goat-cheese-cream.html

Cooking Light's Roast Chicken Salad with Goat cheese. (Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross)

So yesterday we went to my in-laws house for dinner. They’re very familiar with Weight Watchers and know that we’re on it now too, so I was confident that we’d be having a very health-conscious meal. Boy, was I impressed with this one from Cooking Light! I think I’ll be looking up more recipes from them now.

As you can tell by the title, we had Roast Chicken salad…  yes… with Goat Cheese! I was so excited about that one!

The meal was great. My husband used Ranch Dressing instead of the salad dressing in the recipe because of his acid reflux. So that worked out well. We were all pretty full from it, but had room for some fruit for dessert. I thought this was a great move, and might try to do this more at home, because it helped satisfy our little bit of hunger we may have had left. I believe we were all left very happy at the end of this meal.

Also, must say, I love myself a no-cook meal. Especially in the summer. I’m going to be making this one myself sometime soon for sure!

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/roast-chicken-salad-with-peaches-goat-cheese-pecans-10000001906365/

Chicken Teriyaki with Broccoli from Weight Watchers

Ok, so I love Teriyaki sauce so I was very excited to find a low-fat version on the Weight Watchers website.

Teriyaki happens to be a great option for those with acid reflux. The ingredients usually have soy sauce and ginger, both of which, you might be surprised to learn, may actually help one with heart burn. So that’s why I figured I’d jump on this recipe since I didn’t even have to switch out or lower the amount of any ingredients in the recipe. (Yes, there were scallions, but they got cooked and are not as acidic as regular onions to begin with.)

The way they got the calorie/fat count lower in the recipe was to dilute store-bought Teriyaki sauce with fat free chicken broth. I happened to have a big jug of opened fat free beef broth sitting in my fridge so I decided to use that, figuring it would have a similar effect and possibly even more flavor. Well, maybe I should’ve stuck with the chicken broth  because the meal was very bland, but I highly doubt that would’ve helped.

The rice tasted good with the sauce that was created, but for the meat, it didn’t really get to absorb enough flavor. Maybe boiling the chicken in the broth and Teriyaki mixture would have infused more flavor into the chicken. It might be worth a try, but I think I’ll just take this one off the list and look for another Weight Watchers Teriyaki dish to try later.

Well, here’s the recipe in case you want to give it a try and/or modify it.

http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/index.aspx?recipeid=105071

Let me know how it goes if you try it!