Ramona’s Poppyseed Dressing

I no longer eat low fat salad dressings.  They just aren’t as good as the real thing. 

I eat one tablespoon of real dressing and count it as 2 points.  I would much rather give up the points and have something fantastic.

This is my very favorite dressing, I have modified it by using Splenda instead of sugar.  I only use 1 tablespoon, but I put my greens in a large tupperware container with a lid and shake, shake, shake, that way the dressing distributes evenly and it’s enough.  You can add fruit to your greens, strawberries, grapes, mandarin oranges, or just onion and mushrooms.  It’s the best salad dressing I’ve ever tasted.  Enjoy  ~ jan

Poppy seed dressing:
3/4 C. splenda -I cut this back a bit, i think 3/4 is too sweet, so I use a heaping half cup of splenda
1 t. dry mustard
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 t. salt
1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
1 C. mazola oil
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds - always store poppyseeds in fridge, they get rancid easily, if you have them in pantry, throw them out and buy fresh
To make dressing:
Whisk together all ingredients until you can no longer feel the sugar grains (because they have dissolved in the liquid) and the whisk leaves a trail in the thickened mixture.

Makes about 3 cups, so you will have leftover dressing.

NOTE: When I make this, I find it necessary to blend dressing ingredients in my blender to get the silky smooth, honeylike consistency.  This stuff is nectar of the gods, you will never regret giving up some of your precious daily allotment for this.

Monday Morning Review…

I’ve lost another pound this week, down a bit over 11 lbs. now.  I stayed low in points, but even so,  I knew it was time to slow down a bit with the loss, let my body catch up.  That’s the way it works for me.

We’re going to Ryan’s for a few days, that will be such a challenge, lots of temptation, but I’ll cope.  I’ve purposely stayed low in points, as I’m sure I’ll bump it up at his house, which isn’t a bad thing, I need to shock my body with more calories, so it doesn’t hibernate in starvation mode.

Life is good, I continue to tweet every bite, weigh everything I eat, I’m managing to stay motivated, for today, it’s working…

Pearls of Wisdom from the Spark Community -

1. Losing weight is hard!
2. Being fat is harder!
3. I rather be fit and healthy than fat and unhappy.
4. Giving up is not a good option.
5. Set backs are inevitable.
6. Overcoming setbacks can make your stronger (if it doesn't kill you- just kidding.)
7. Stay in the game long enough and eventually you will hit a plateau.
8. Pushing harder doesn't always yield the best results.
9. Listen to your body and take a break when you need to.
10. Reach out to at least one person everyday on SparkPeople. (Friends or strangers, it doesn't matter.) It helps and keeps me accountable.

Another week in my life of eating healthy, one day at a time…

It’s Monday morning, the 18th, I’ve been dieting since April 1st and I’m down a little over 10 lbs. now.  Last week was a hard one, I had one day that regardless of what I ate I was starving.  I ate 22 points, but I reigned it in and I quit.   That’s the important part, I quit eating, and the next day I was back on track.

I continue to do well, still excited about the small changes, I’m seeing.  Capri’s feeling really good, another 7-8 lbs. and hopefully some of my size 12’s will be starting to fit. Sure, I’ll have a muffin top in them, but there  is just something about being able to wear a 12 again.  Silly, I know it is, it’s all about the fit, not the tag, we tell ourselves that, but old habits die hard, it’s a numbers game…

My weight has been dropping really well, it’s time to play catch up.  This is how my body works, now that I’ve lost fairly rapidly, I’ll stall out for 2-3 weeks, then I’ll have another significant loss. But I know if I stay on track, I’ll go ahead and lose.  Hubby took me to Deerhead last night, I only ordered a grilled chicken breast, dry, no oil.  I had a tomato, ate the chicken, and blotted just a few of his breaded mushrooms with a napkin to get the grease out, and it was okay.  Sure, I would have rather had a pizza, or a fried catfish sandwich, but I didn’t, and it was enough food to satisfy me.  Sometimes it’s one meal at a time, just getting thru one meal to the next.  We got to Versailles next week to visit Ryan and Lindsay.  It will be a challenge, he is such a good cook.  But I’ll make it work, I really will…

And so my week begins again, just keeping focused, measuring everything I eat, tweeting those points, it’s working, for today, it’s working…

Skillet Lasagna

A much quicker version of the Italian classic; less time, but no less taste.

Skillet Lasagna, from The Best 30-minute Recipe Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion (chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1-1/4 cup water
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried basil leaves 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
2-1/2 cup broken up whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/4 cup fat free grated Parmesan cheese
Dash Basil and Pepper (optional)
1 egg
Shredded fat free mozzarella cheese for garnish

Directions:

In a large skillet, brown beef with onions and garlic. Drain. Add tomatoes, water, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, and salt. Stir in uncooked pasta. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Combine cottage and Parmesan cheeses. Mix in the egg. Sprinkle in basil and pepper to taste. Drop cheese mixture by rounded tablespoons onto pasta mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and serve. Number of Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user DREAMANGELE.

Cucumber salad, one of my all time favorites…

asaladblogI’ve loved this salad since I was a little girl. It was always Daddy’s family favorite, and they made it for summer picnics. The original recipe was made with oil and banana peppers, but I’ve lightened it, so that it’s totally Weight Watcher friendly, and no points.

1 cucumber, preferably English seedless, peeled, sliced and cut into small dice.

1 green pepper, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 large tomato, chopped

Dressing:

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

red pepper flakes to taste

5 packets of Splenda.

Refrigerate several hours to blend flavors. You can add additional veggies, especially tomatoes to the marinade as you eat it, without having to make a fresh batch. It keeps for days in the fridge…

I use this Williams Sonoma Vegetable Chop and Measure to make this salad. It’s a wonderful addition to your kitchen and will make quick work of dicing veggies

Weekly thoughts about eating healthy…

I made it thru Mother’s Day without doing damage.  I’m learning that I don’t have to be perfect, that I can have an occasional treat and it not sabotage my weight loss efforts.  I think why I did so well, even with family here for days, was that I didn’t fight it.  I didn’t brood about what I couldn’t eat, I just accepted it and ate healthy, except for that piece of wonderful strawberry shortcake.  I’ve now lost nine pounds since the first of April.  It’s a good feeling, my muffin top is shrinking just a bit, my jeans no longer torture my mid section, but when I saw Mother’s Day pictures of myself I was still horrified.  I hope to lose another twenty and stabilize.  That’s reasonable for my age.  It does no good to tell you all how much I weigh, as I don’t know myself.  No feet remember?  No way to tell, you just have to go by the size you wear.  I just know what the scale said and what it says now, and it’s telling me I’m down 9 lbs.  Size 14 is very comfortable for me now.  Since you lose a size every 15 lbs. if I lose another 20, I will be a comfortable 12.  Of course I would love to be a 10 again, but older women can look really bad if they lose too much weight.  Anyway, I have a long way to go before I really access when I want to stop losing and hopefully, maintain.

If I’m honest with you, I have few illusions that I will be successful with this.  That’s a defeating thing to say, but this is certainly not my first rodeo with weight loss, but I do think it’s my smartest.  All the stupid, silly things I’ve done, ATKINS to be exact, have been in vain. Low carbing is hideous, you’re so deprived and it doesn’t accomplish anything long term for me, but it has shown me that I need to eat adequate protein to feel sated, and to avoid sugar at all cost, because it spikes insulin and makes me hungry.  Weight Watchers is the most sensible eating plan of all, but I’m not doing it like I did when I was in my early 50’s, then I ate lots of processed food, ice cream bars, low calorie cookies, a lot of white diet bread, now I eat only whole grains, brown rice, few potatoes, except for those light chips.  That’s my treat, they’re so good at lunch, even if they are processed.  And I allow myself to eat 18-20 points.  I used to try and hold it to 16, and I was always hungry.  I’m not in so much of a hurry this time, and I’m much more satisfied eating within this point range.  I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I do eat beans, peanut butter and soy products for the protein.  I enjoy these foods, so it’s easy for me…

Yesterday morning we ate out, I ordered fresh strawberries, plain, they came with just a dusting of powdered sugar, and that was enough to make me hungry all day.  Sugar is just not a good thing in my life, and as long as I make things at home, I can substitute Splenda and still satisfy my love for something sweet.

I may ramble on about how I’m doing weekly, just ignore me if it doesn’t interest you.  I do this for myself.  I Tweet What I Eat because it keeps me honest.  Maybe nobody even reads it, I don’t really care if you do or not, I’m doing it because for now, today, it works for me.  As I’ve said before, the idea that I’m putting it out there for everybody to see is keeping me accountable, and it’s saving me the $12 I would spend if I attended Weight Watcher Meetings weekly…

Hungry Girl’s Cheesy Cornbread….

cbread

Boy, do we have a winner with this recipe, ladies.  These corn muffins are just 2 points each, they are so  moist they are almost like a spoonbread.

The recipe is in my archives, but here it is again.  First is Hungry Girl’s exact recipe, followed by just a couple of revisions.

Cheesy-Good Cornbread Muffins
PER SERVING (1 muffin): 85 calories, 1.5g fat, 240mg sodium, 14g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 4g protein -- POINTS® value 2*
Cheesy cornbread muffins for only 85 calories each?! How can it be???
Ingredients:
1 cup canned cream-style corn
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional: 1/4 tsp. hot sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, cornmeal, Splenda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together all other ingredients -- then add the contents of the small bowl to the large one, and stir until well mixed.
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line it with baking cups. Evenly distribute muffin batter among the cups. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes (until muffins are firm and a light golden brown). Allow to cool and then enjoy!
MAKES 12 SERVINGS

And here is what I changed – I didn’t have 1/2 cup of fat free sour cream, so I used 1/4 cup of ffree sour cream and 1/4 cup of plain yogurt.  I substituted 1/4 cup finely chopped onions for the chives, and I put in 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce.  I also didn’t have egg beaters, I used 4 egg whites to equal 1/2 cup.  I used fat free Kraft shredded cheese rather than reduced fat.

I divided these into 12 muffins and baked them for approximately 20 minutes, they weren’t  done in 15 minutes as she suggested.  They were just lightly browned in 20 minutes and perfect.

I counted these muffins as 2 points each.  I also  want to try this with whole-wheat flour and see how they come out, as I am tring to not continue to eat white flour.

This recipe is 4 stars, give it a try!

butterfly-dog.SMALL