Saturday, January 18, 2014

Post Winter Walk Lunch (Zucchini/Chicken Hash - 6 pts)

At 34 degrees with a stiff wind blowing it was just too cold for a tennis lesson today.  So after canceling my court time, I took off for a walk/run around the neighborhood.  Holy moly it was cold.  

And that chilly jaunt certainly did work up an appetite.  But what to make?  Definitely something warm.  And something that wouldn't blow the whole walk/run thing.  So off to the fridge....

If you are near a Trader Joe's 
RUN, don't walk, and buy their
Everyday Seasoning.  
As my eyes surveyed the situation I spotted some rotisserie chicken, a bit of an onion,  a red bell pepper, 1/4 of a zucchini.... and in the deli drawer amongst all the lovely cheese... some figure friendly thin sliced cheddar.  Done.

Most people don't think realize that if you grate zucchini and saute it over a medium high heat the sugars caramelize and almost mimic hash browns.  OK, I said ALMOST, it is not exactly the same.  But it's yummy.  Employing that method I came up with a hash like concoction that fit the bill.  And weighed in at only 6 Weight Watcher points.  Even better.

I hope you experiment with this method.  I've done something similar, substituting sliced cherry tomatoes for the chicken and putting a poached or fried egg on top - oh yeah!


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 oz rotisserie chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini 
  • 2 Tbs chopped onion
  • 2 Tbs chopped red bell pepper
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • About 4 grinds of Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning (a MUST have for every pantry!) or cracked black pepper
  • 1 slice of Sargento thin sliced cheddar cheese
  • Your favorite hot sauce, optional


  1. Heat the olive oil in a non stick skillet
  2. Saute the onion, then add the zucchini, bell pepper, salt and seasoning/pepper. 
  3. Keep turning it until it is soft, then press down and let it brown a bit, lowering the heat if it starts to burn or look scary.  
  4. Do this until you reach the consistency you want (I like it slightly caramelized) then add the chicken.  Stir to combine and continue to cook until the chicken is heated through, a minute or two.  
  5. Top with the cheese, turn off the heat and cover with a lid to melt the cheese.

Serve with your favorite hot sauce if desired.  Today I opted for Sriracha


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Starting the New Year with a Fresh Outlook (Hot Oat Bran Cereal with Apples, Oranges and Cranberries)

Warm and satisfying - a great start
to a winter day

Like most folks we rang in the New Year with good friends, great food, and a glass of champagne or two (or make that three!).  Thankfully some dancing was also involved as well as some serious cheering (sadly, followed by not cheering) during the Duke/Texas A&M game, so a few calories were spent.  But enough is enough - and as the new year dawns it is time to kick start a healthier lifestyle. 

As resolutions go, eating healthier is not unique. But a common theme last night was the fact that I should be posting to my blog more in 2014.  I will admit I've been remiss in this area for the past year; but I did agree to get back to creating and posting in 2014.  

At the same time I've also been concentrating on exercise and healthier eating via the Weight Watchers program (and have a closet full of new clothes to show for it!).  So this year I will combine the two with a goal of regularly posting a WW friendly recipe.  Most will be original or a healthy riff on a classic.  None will be tested, but should provide my followers a guide for their own creations. And I will calculate WW Points Plus values to the best of my ability.

To start things off I offer up my current go to breakfast - Hot oat bran cereal with apples, oranges and cranberries.  Warm and satisfying, this yummy concoction weighs in at just 4 WW points, including a splash of low fat milk. I make big batches on the weekend and package it up in single portions for a quick start to the day.

Here's how you do it....

Hot Oat Bran Cereal with Apples, Orange and Cranberries
Single, large portion (4WW PP Value - and loaded with power foods)

1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 small apple cut into small pieces  
1/2 clementine or orange cut into small pieces  
Handful of fresh cranberries
1tsp honey
5 shakes of cinnamon
1shake of ground clove
1 shake of ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1 cup water
1tsp chia seeds (optional, but this is a great source of amino acids and adds texture)

Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat on medium heat until boiling, reduce heat stirring occasionally and simmer until thick and cranberries start to pop. You can help them along by smushing with a fork.

Serve with 1/4 cup of low fat or nonfat milk.