Keep It Poppin’ (My Kettle Corn Obsession)
Aug18

Keep It Poppin’ (My Kettle Corn Obsession)

I used to drive all the way to the Main Street Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica.  Park my car.  Go for a 30 minute run. Pick up my bag (or 2, or 3) of kettle corn.  Then drive home. Do you remember the little white bags they’d fill up with fresh kettle corn, and then stick it in a plastic bag and tie it up with a wire tie?  If I convinced myself to only buy one or two that week, chances are I’d find myself at the Westwood Farmer’s Market on Wednesday buying another bag. When I say I was obsessive, I’m not kidding! Then I joined Weight Watchers and discovered that my little white bag—overflowing into the clear plastic bag, neatly tied with a wire tie—was FIFTEEN POINTS.  Not worthy! Eventually, after LOTS of sugar snap peas (zero points) and carrots (zero points) during the day to make up for my kettle corn habit at night, I decided to try Orville Redenbacher’s 94% fat free kettle corn instead.  Not quite the same experience, but at 3 points a bag (on the old points system), it was a much better value than the regular kettle corn. And then began the new habit of an entire bag of “diet” kettle corn… every single night. If I was out for dinner or at a family gathering, everything was compared to my 3-point kettle corn at night, and nothing measured up to my alone-time with my kettle corn.  I know, seems pretty sad.  For me, that huge bag of popcorn every night was filling an emotional void; it was pretty much my boyfriend!  Only when I found the love of my life did I manage to completely kick the habit. Then one day, Sam’s mother sends him home with a large sample of Angie’s Kettle Corn from Costco.  (Does this woman have it in for me or what?)  He didn’t quite get it when I told him that I have a thing for kettle corn!! Back to Basics Now when I need to get back on track, the first thing I change is to go back to my 94% fat free Kettle Corn as a nighttime snack. It’s on my Top 10 Weight Watchers Power Foods list. There’s nothing quite like it when you’re craving a sweet-and-salty fix! The difference is that now I really only need a 100 calorie bag. Before, the huge bag was just feeding myself emotionally and was a habit that I wasn’t willing to break. I find that the danger with the big bag varieties is that once you’ve had one cup, it’s far too easy...

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Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)
Jul17

Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)

I first saw Zinguini (zucchini “noodles”) on Caffe Delfini’s menu in Santa Monica—where they claim to have invented them. (Only in LA, right?!) But you probably know by now that I have a slight pasta obsession (okay, major), so I’m not about to order vegetables masquerading as spaghetti on date night.  But when I saw this Veggetti at Bed Bath & Beyond, I thought it would at least be fun to try with my four-year-old, and mayybeeee get her to eat more veggies. You’ll find this Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Cutter on Amazon for $13.05   It couldn’t be easier to use. You literally just insert the zucchini (aka baby marrow or courgette) or carrot, cuke—you name it—and twist…   and out come beautiful noodles! (Make sure to get large veggies or it won’t work as well.)   Okay, you probably realized from the face that Aja only made a couple—the rest was me.   Most surprising was that it felt like I was eating spaghetti!!! (Waaaaay better pasta fix than spaghetti squash or broccoli slaw.) SO yummy that I just couldn’t wait to share it with you. And it’s of course a Weight Watchers Power Food—fab if you’re doing Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling. (Or Gluten Free, Paleo, Mediterranean Diet, or any other kind of Low Fat, Low Carb, Clean Eating)   The plan was to plate it and take beautiful pics for you, but I just. couldn’t. stop. eating it… and so before I knew it there was nothing left to photograph. (Sorry) Plus, taking pics is the most tedious, painful process for me (does it look appetizing? will people want to pin it?) so this time I just decided to-hell-with-it, I’m just eating and posting.  Luckily I took a quick snap of it in the pan!   You could serve it as a side dish, or top with your favorite tomato sauce and parmesan. Yum!  I used Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning—a wonderful blend of mustard seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and just enough chili pepper for a slight kick—which happens to be from South Africa, but that’s not why I love it. But if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s (sad as that may be), you could just as easily use S&P and garlic powder.     Next time I’ll try Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute which is my favorite spice blend. I use it in my Cauliflower Muffins which are aah-mayzing! >> Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus values) >>    Simple Start Dinner Idea For the ultimate low point, high-protein, Power Food dinner, serve with a tilapia filet sprayed with...

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Dr. Praegers Kale and Black Bean Veggie Burgers (review)
Jun19

Dr. Praegers Kale and Black Bean Veggie Burgers (review)

I was so pumped to find Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burgers and Black Bean Burgers at my door that I decided to try them today!      My first time getting something on dry ice—I don’t know why that was so pleasing.   This big, giant box for two little boxes of burgers. (Not as green as the Kale Burgers. LOL)   I  am now verrry full. I made one of each to try, and they were both so delish that I ate them both! (Plus a side salad.) I just popped them in the toaster oven and ate them straight up, to get the full flavor.   Here’s the verdict:   Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burger (Gluten Free) With Quinoa I must admit, it did look a little “grassy” but actually tasted surprisingly delicious. Very fresh and light. Now would I slap this on a burger bun with ketchup? Definitely not. But next to a couple of fried eggs I think it would make for a tasty meal. 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus   Dr. Praeger’s Black Bean Veggie Burgers Let me first say that I am not a fan of black beans. But I really enjoyed the taste and texture of this one—more dense and filling than the others. Very bean-y. And just enough if a kick. Fab with a fruity salsa and/or roasted red pepper hummus. Wrap in lettuce leaves for a low-carb sammy! 12 g protein to keep you feeling satisfied. 3 WW PP   My fav is still the Asian Veggie Burger. Click here for my Veggie Burger Chop Suey Recipe >>   Whole Foods Market carries a wide variety of Dr. Praeger’s products. And you can find the California Veggie Burgers at Trader Joe’s. The California Burger was my go-to dinner for many months when I first joined Weight Watchers. You can find my Veggie Burger Scramble recipe on my Trader Joes shopping List (next to California Burger) >>   But these two new ones could be making their way into heavy rotation!   Click here for where to purchase Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers >>   Simple Start/Simply Filling Unfortunately, since all of Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers have more than 2g fat, they’re not considered Weight Watchers Power Foods. But, if you’re doing WW Simple Start or Simply Filling, I think they’re definitely worth spending a few points on just to add some variety to what you’re eating. (Or I personally might not even count points if I was just having one of these as part of my healthy Simple Start meal. But shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone that I told you that!) BTW...

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Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks
Jun05

Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks

Do you feel like when you’re in an airport… or in the air… or in the car (fill in the blanks)… the calories (and points) somehow don’t count…? A little planning can stop you from making poor choices—en route and at your travel destination. Stay happy, healthy, and in control on your vacation! Here are my Top Healthy Travel Snacks Please PIN, SHARE, TWEET it! Remember, sharing is caring. 🙂   Corazonas Mini Oatmeal Squares (My #1 Travel Snack!) This is my favorite packaged snack—period. I especially love the minis because they’re just big enough to satisfy a craving, and only cost 2 – 3 points. (Try a Peanut Butter Mini with a cup of tea or coffee… mmmhmmm good. You’ll think twice before purchasing a pastry!) 2 – 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per bar Where to Buy: Corazonas.com Use coupon code ORNABAKES25 for FREE SHIPPING over $25! Amazon Corazonas Minis at Costco Corazonas Oatmeal Squares (full size) at Ralphs/Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Gelsons Market (California)   BelVita Breakfast Biscuits I’m pretty much ready to eat from the minute I’m awake, so if I’m in some hotel room and have to wait for hours till we’re in a restaurant eating, I’m… shall we say… not my most pleasant self! That’s why I always pack something to tide me over. 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for 4 biscuits (It’s always less points if you share!) Perfect for sharing with hungry cousins on Safari in South Africa. (Sorry to those of you in the back who never got any.) Where to Buy: Costco, Target, pretty much everywhere   Or NEW from Kellogg’s – To Go Morning Biscuits  (only 4 WW PP for four delicious biscuits) Where to Buy: Amazon, Ralph’s (Kroger)    Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins Make these delicious, healthy muffins ahead, pop them in the freezer, and you’ll have portable breakfast for the whole family. 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per muffin Click here for the super-simple recipe >>   Luna Fiber Bars These are not the sexiest bar around, but they are tasty and satisfying, and get you to the next meal. (What is the sexiest bar around, you might ask…? For me that would have to be a PureFit Peanut Butter Crunch, but I don’t usually spend 6 points on a bar when there’s food to be eaten!) 3 PointsPlus per bar Where to Buy: Target, Ralphs/Kroger/Whole Foods What’s your bar of choice?   Peanut Butter Sammy There’s nothing worse than spending 20 points on a BBQ Chicken Sandwich and greasy chips that you don’t even like, so I always pack an emergency meal. A teaspoon or two of peanut butter (1 WW...

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Quick and Healthy Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins
May29

Quick and Healthy Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

These moist and tasty muffins are SO quick and easy, and good for you too! Pop them in the freezer for a quickie breakfast-to-go, or fab for kids’ lunches.   Only 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for one low fat, high fiber, super-satisfying muffin!   I was pumped to find Toasted Oat Bran at Trader Joe’s. I’ve always been a huge fan of its creamy texture—kind of like Cream of Wheat meets Oatmeal. If you don’t live near a TJ’s, never fear, you’ll find it at most markets next to the oats. It’s delish for breakfast—or even as a late night snack. And since it’s a Weight Watchers Power Food, it’s ZERO POINTS if you’re following the Simple Start or Simply Filling plans.   What is Oat Bran?  I was surprised to discover that Oatbran isn’t just the ‘husk’ of the oat, but is contained in the outer layer of the ‘groat’ which remains after the shelling process. (Confused? So was I!)   Click here for the full explanation from Mornflake >>   Here’s my version of the Oat Bran Recipe on the back of the Trader Joe’s container. They have a nuttier, denser texture than traditional blueberry muffins (a/k/a cake!). And they’re, of course, waaaaay better for you!   Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with WW Power Foods & PointsPlus) >>   Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins 2014-05-26 17:23:04 Yields 12 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per muffin. Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min 110 calories 22 g 0 g 3 g 4 g 0 g 67 g 119 g 11 g 0 g 3 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 67g Yields 12 Amount Per Serving Calories 110 Calories from Fat 30 % Daily Value * Total Fat 3g 5% Saturated Fat 0g 2% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 119mg 5% Total Carbohydrates 22g 7% Dietary Fiber 3g 11% Sugars 11g Protein 4g Vitamin A1%Vitamin C2% Calcium8%Iron6% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 2 cups Trader Joe's Oat Bran, uncooked 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup fat free milk (or 1 or 2%) 2 egg whites, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 3 tablespoons honey 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries Instructions Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups or spray bottoms only with no-stick cooking spray....

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