Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Weight Watchers Wednesday & Yummy recipes!

I know this time of year following our "diets" or as I like to call it "lifestyle changes" is very hard! But I am here to save the day (well not really, but offer up some healthy recipes anyway)!
Because I signed up for WW emails I get daily emails about healthy food options. Now, we know I am super picky and probably don't eat these things, but I figure the least I can do is pass them on to my blog buddies!! Right?
Before I do that, let me share with you my weight loss news... 1 more pound down! That's 18 pounds since Oct 1! Yippee :) I am thrilled that I am at least losing a little bit because it is so hard this time of the year. So many parties and get togethers are VERY tempting! And working out during the holidays is tough because the gym is open funny hours (I'm not fortunate enough to be a member of one of those 24 hour gyms). Last week, I did my normal Monday and Tuesday routine, but Wednesday the gym closed at 12, so Hubs and I went to run together. I was STOKED when I ran 2 miles with no resting! And let me add that running outside is WAY different than on a treadmill. But it was fun being outside, jamming to my ipod and running until my legs seriously wouldn't let me run anymore :) Of course, working out on Turkey Day was out, I had plans to get up that morning to go run again, but sleeping in sounded so much better when my alarm went off. Friday, I shopped from 5 AM to 7 PM so there was no workout time there. But Monday it was back to it. Around the Christmas holidays will be tough too, but I think I have something figured out :) Good thing I have taken to running. I am really enjoying it, because that is all I will have during Christmas!

Ok, so now on to the recipes I gotta share with you ladies. There are three of them, so bare with me as they are long :) But sound so yummy. I have printed them out and plan to be cooking them within the next few weeks. Enjoy ladies!!

1st: Greek Penne Pasta

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

12 oz uncooked penne
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 oz pine nuts, about 2 tbsp
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1 pound(s) tomato(es), plum
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
6 medium olive(s), black, pitted and chopped
Cook pasta according to package directions (without butter or oil), drain and set aside. If necessary, cover to keep warm.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat until oil sizzles. Add pine nuts and garlic. Cook and stir until pine nuts are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach and tomatoes and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
Add spinach mixture to pasta and toss until combined. Serve pasta sprinkled with feta cheese and black olives. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

2nd: Baked Beef Ziti

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 50 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

12 oz uncooked ziti
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1/3 pound(s) raw lean ground beef
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks, about 3 to 5 minutes; drain off any fat and set pan back over medium heat.
Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper; stir to coat beef. Cook until herbs become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Spoon a small amount of beef-tomato mixture into bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish (just enough to cover surface); top with half of cooked ziti. Next, layer with half of remaining beef-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining ziti and then top with remaining beef-tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

3rd: Potato Pancakes
POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

1/4 cup(s) regular egg substitute
1/4 cup(s) matzo meal
1/2 small onion(s), chopped
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
3 large potato(es)
1 large sweet potato(es)
1 spray(s) cooking spray, or enough to coat baking sheet and pancakes

Heat oven to 500°F. In large bowl combine egg substitute, matzo meal, onion, salt and pepper.
In food processor, grate potatoes through feed tube. Squeeze out any excess moisture. Combine with egg mixture. (Note: Do not grate potatoes ahead of time.)
Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place twelve 1/4 cups of pancake mixture on sheet; coat with cooking spray. Bake until pancakes are crisp, 30 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes.


Mojito Maven said...

WOO HOO!!!! Nice work on another pound!!!!!!! Mine is coming off much slower but I am getting there!!!!!

Prissy Southern Prep said...

You are doing great girl!! Thanks for those recipes, they look delicious! =)

Mrs. Cup said...

Yay!!! How exciting!

Sarah said...

Way to go another pound down, I gained 2 pounds on thanksgiving so now I'm working in over drive to loose it! I printed the recipes and I will try them this week thanks

Mrs. Newlywed said...

Yay for a pound!

Hmmm, in other news...freakin' BRITNEY SPEARS is coming to Atlanta on 3/5. Which happens to be right before my birthday.

Do you want to be my friend and go...I don't think tickets will be that expensive.

Lindsey said...

Congrats on the weight loss, well done friend!

THANK YOU! These recipes sound amazing and I am def going to make them!

Emily said...

yipeee for you:)))
Those recipes all sounds soo good.. may try one of them tonight because I was needing something to make:)

Kitty Cat said...

Well done, and I LOVE pasta, those recipes look fab!

New Girl on Post said...

Congrats on being down 18 lbs since October 1st! That's awesome.

Thanks for the recipes! I need something tasty to make that doesn't pack on the pounds.

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

the ziti sounds so delicious!!! congrats on one more pound. you're awesome!

Britni and Justin said...

Yay! Congrats!

Chic Runner said...

Wow! Look at you go losing all that weight! Great job! :) And great job on getting out there and running. You make me proud!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

Congratulations on being down another pound and running 2 miles without resting! That is awesome!

Thanks for the recipes...the Baked Beef Ziti looks yummy!

Chitown Meg said...

Great suggestions! Thanks so much :) And thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! Very helpful :)

Tara Gibson said...

wowee girly! 18lbs! that awesome! those recipes look DELICious!

Mrs.B said...

Shopping could be considered exercise if you were walking around most of that time, ha! Thanks for sharing the recipes. They look amazing. && Congrat's on the weight loss!

Hollie said...

okay I LOVE all Greek food and anything with Penne in it so I am totally excited about the first recipe! Thanks!

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Congrats on the loss! That is exciting!

Katie said...

That greek pasta looks FANTASTIC!

Me! said...

Congrats on the weight loss!!! And I am SO trying those potato pancakes --- YUMMMM!

Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

You've lost 18 lbs since October?! WOW! You are my hero!!!! That is fantastic.

kb said...

I just looked at your page..I saw the picture of you & your husband with you wearing the green halter dress with the gold in the middle--I have that dress too! I bought it like 45 minutes before a formal 2 years ago and even though it was 2 sizes to big--i saftey pinned it to my size!