Outside the Box

This week at Weight Watchers was a recipe swap. Since only me (the leader) and one member brought in recipes (I gave the rest of them a pass since the meeting was at 7:30am after all), I decided to shift the topic towards rethinking kitchen staples. The whole idea behind the meeting was to think about why changing things up in your diet is important, and here is what we came up with as a group:

    • It keeps us from getting bored.
    • It adds variety.
    • It refocuses us, because when we eat the same things all the time we feel safe with them.
    • It allows us to eat seasonally and buy what is fresh at the market.

And something else I wanted to add but didn’t – it keeps our bodies guessing. I think sometimes our bodies get really accustomed to what we eat if we tend to eat the same things over and over, so you sort of surprise it when you introduce it to new foods and can push yourself out of a rut.

After covering the basics of why it’s important to change up the diet, we talked about some staples that we all have in our kitchen and ways to rethink them.

First up, hummus.

    • Discoveries: Trader Joe’s makes a tahini-free hummus that has just 1 pt. as does Cedar’s brand
    • Uses: On sandwiches, in tuna salad with a little greek yogurt, in egg salad, with hot dogs in a tortilla.

Next up, beans.

    • Sprinkle on salads.
    • Mash up with salsa and cumin and melt cheddar over the mixture on an English muffin or pita.
    • Make your own bean dips/spreads.
    • Add to stirfries.
    • Mix with corn, canned tomatoes with jalapenos, and red bell peppers, cover with sliced polenta, top with cheese and bake for a casserole. Yum.

Last one discussed, frozen veggies.

    • Stirfries with chicken or tofu
    • Egg scrambles
    • Fried Rice or another grain
    • Soups
    • Frozen spinach for smoothies

Some other random things that came out:

    • Roast eggplant rounds and store in the fridge to use for the “bread” on sandwiches.
    • This recipe yields pesto that is 2 pts+ for 1/4 of a cup. You could freeze it into 2 tbsp portions in an ice cube tray for just 1 pt+ a pop.’
    • Health Salad is one of my favorite recipes and the one I brought for the swap.
    • Cooking Light, Real Simple, WeightWatchers.com, and SkinnyTaste.com are some favorite sources for WW-friendly recipes.
    • When you don’t tell people you are making a healthy or Weight Watcher friendly recipe, they won’t know – they’ll just think it’s delicious!

Tell me – what’s one staple you always keep on hand in your kitchen and what is your go-to use for it?

12 Comments on Outside the Box

  1. wendy wiech
    August 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm (8 years ago)

    I found a coleslaw recipe very similar to this in Food Network Magazine with green grapes. It’s become a staple in our house too.

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm (8 years ago)

      I love the idea of adding grapes to coleslaw. Yum!

      Reply
  2. Courtney @ Brussel Sprouts and Beer
    August 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm (8 years ago)

    These are great tips. I tend to find a “healthy” snack I like and keep eating it until I am about sick of it. I need to do a better job of switching things up. Also, those are all of my go-to recipe sites to find new and interesting recipes. I am a HUGE fan of skinny taste!

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm (8 years ago)

      Me too! She has such good recipes, and i love that all the pointsplus values are already calculated for all the recipes!

      Reply
  3. Sarah
    August 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm (8 years ago)

    Oats and Flax seed meal are staples in our house. I use them every morning for breakfast, but also find myself using both in all sorts of items like smoothies, coatings and treats. One of my favorite treats is a microwave cookie, by using oatmeal and flax I am punching up the nutritional value and it fills me up.

    Great post and great ideas. I also live off of all the staples your mentioned 🙂

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 9, 2012 at 9:59 am (8 years ago)

      Do you have a recipe for the microwave cookie? That sounds so good!

      Reply
  4. Beth
    August 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm (8 years ago)

    Egg whites are a constant in my house – can be used in a million different ways. Many times I will make them in the microwave for an afternoon snack with Salsa and Laughing Cow cheese.

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 9, 2012 at 9:58 am (8 years ago)

      Ohh that sounds so good!

      Reply
  5. Felicity @ Waist & Wallet
    August 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm (8 years ago)

    There is a new Trader Joe’s just down the street. I haven’t been in yet because the parking lot is always packed and looks at lot like a real life version of bumper cars to me. I’ll have to brave the parking lot and grab myself some hummus though. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
  6. Jane
    August 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm (8 years ago)

    Canned/Jarred Artichoke Hearts (Sams club has them in a jar without oil)- Healthy and tasty – I drain and chop them and add them to hummus to “stretch it”, put them in omelets and salads, I make an artichoke casserole w/chopped onion, garlic, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese or I just eat them right out of the jar.

    Whole Baby corn is another go to…the whole can only has 50 Calories, 0g fat, 10g carbs, 6g fiber and 2g protein – great in salads and stir fry

    Reply
  7. dietmaven
    August 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm (8 years ago)

    I just started eating better 3 weeks ago, so I’m still learning. So far, my reach for snack is a jar of kosher pickles (local varieties, more crisp than regular supermarket brands). I’ve been using lettuce leaves instead of taco shells to wrap up fillings. But my go to food is probably melon – it has a lot of volume and water, and feels satisfing very quickly. Watermelon or cantaloupe.

    Reply

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