Bonnie’s Blog on Food and Grog

Cooking and life advice from a Nana.

I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN…… February 13, 2010

Filed under: 1 — bonhuse @ 9:56 pm

Well, I am chugging along and feel like I am on track to  feel terrific by the time the wedding comes!  (OH dear — is  this a side effect of eating healthy?  You make bad puns and corny analogies??? Will I soon be watching old re-runs of “Hee-Haw”?)   AT THE WEDDING:  “Gee, Kelly’s Mom LOOKS pretty good,  but didn’t she used to have a good sense of humor? What a shame.  Nice wedding, though.”

I still plan to reach my goal of 20 pounds by the wedding, BUT that is 15 more with 49 days to go!   I have not cheated, I have exercised with a vengeance, and am doing all I can to drop that poundage!  BUT one thing I have discovered in just a little over a week is that I FEEL so much better!  And since my plan is to see great-grandchildren,  a  permanent change in eating and exercise habits is definitely in order! Again, not to say that I will not continue to cook the cream-laden, butter-slathered, gravy- topped wonders that I so love!  JUST not every single day!     I may not treat my body like a TEMPLE, but I at least must STOP treating it like a BOWLING ALLEY. 

So I discovered TWO yummy new recipes to add to my fat-shedding recipe box! Both are from new Weight Watcher cookbooks and are definitely keepers!  “African Peanut Chicken”  is the first one– very healthy and has some new taste combinations that make it very interesting.  Cinnamon, hot sauce, cumin and peanut butter — not what you might typically throw together, is it?  Well, this works and is an interesting combination of slightly spicy,  from the Tabasco sauce,  and sweet, from the parsnips, carrots and cinnamon.  Only 172 calories per serving– of course, a serving is 1 piece of chicken and 1/2 cup of vegetables and sauce…  but I found it very filling.  Even at two servings, it’s a low cal dinner!


1 – 14-l/2 ounce can of diced tomatoes with garlic and onions

4 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced

2 parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced

3 tablespoons low-fat peanut butter

3 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce (Tabasco, for instance…)

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 skinless chicken thighs (I used skinless and boneless ones)

4 skinless chicken drumsticks (good luck finding those.. I had to skin them myself)

2 tablespoons cold water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Combine tomatoes, carrots, parsnips, peanut butter, pepper sauce, cumin, and cinnamon in slow cooker. Top with chicken.  Cover and cook until chicken and vegetables are fork-tender, 3-4 hours on high, or 6 – 8 hours on low. 

About 20 minutes before cooking time is up, mix water and cornstarch in small bowl until  smooth.  Stir cornstarch mixture into slow cooked.  Cover and cook on high until mixture simmers and thickens, about 15 minutes.  Stir in cilantro. 

Confession:   I completely forgot to do the cornstarch step, and I don’t think it would be any better with it.  It was nice and thick as it was, so it’s up to you. 

The recipe suggested serving over whole wheat couscous, which I made for Greg, but passed on myself.  Adds calories and carbs, so not ready for that yet!

Before dinner, I sliced a Roma tomato and drizzled my other new discovery – “Spinach-Basil Pesto Sauce” over it.  Nice little appetizers with virtually no Weight-Watcher points, thus very low in calories and fats.    YUM.   I definitely intend to keep this stuff on hand.  You could use it on pasta (if I decided to “splurge”) or mixed in salads, or drizzled over fresh vegetables, or over poached salmon… YUM again.  You will have to check in tomorrow for the recipe as I have to go swim my laps now! 

Did 21 laps yesterday, 50 minutes, felt terrific.  I’m starting to really look forward to going, even tho I have to FORCE myself to leave home to do it.  I love it at home.  BUT when I get in the water, it feels so great, and when I am driving home afterwards, the overwhelming feeling of self-righteousness is worth it!!  

Hasta el Pesto!!


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