Posted by: dinainsuburbia | February 9, 2009

Weekend update…weight watchers style

I always find it the hardest to stay within my points when I’m entertaining.  I’m inevitably cooking a meal that is more fussy than normal, and this involves lots of BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes in WW language).  I know when on WW you’re supposed to avoid BLTs, but what cook can check seasonings without tasting?  Impossible!

Aside from the BLTs.. there’s the issue of wine.  Yes, you can allow some points for wine (what is it, 3 points per glass?)- but when I’m entertaining, I tend to imbibe more than normal.  This, of course, starts a sort-of cyclical over-eating: the more you drink, the more you eat, the more you drink.. and the points add up.

Even though I did go a little points crazy on Saturday, I did cook a WW points-friendly meal- Lidia’s chicken cacciatore (make with skinless chicken thighs and legs) along with a baked polenta.  The cacciatore was delicious- the legs and thighs don’t dry out like chicken breasts, and the slightly more gamey flavor matches perfectly with the sweet of cooked tomatoes and the earthly flavor of the mushrooms.

I added about a 1/2 cup more mushrooms than the recipe called for.  Please PLEASE use San Marzano tomatoes for the recipe- it really does make a difference.  At $4.50 for a 28-ounce can, it’s something I splurge on for company, or if the tomatoes are an integral component of the dish.. and they are, so go for it!

Lidia calls for two whole broiler chickens- which would be fine… but there was a sale on a thigh/leg multipack, about $6.50 for almost 3 pounds- I had to jump on it!  In addition to being a low-point meal, chicken cacciatore is amazingly economical to entertain with (and this recipe is WAY better than anything you’d find out in an Italian restaurant – well other than Lidia’s restaurant).

I used the baked polenta I found on epicurious.com, a polenta you start on the stove and then transfer to the oven.  An easy recipe, it’s garlicky-rosemary-cheesy goodness jives perfectly with the rustic cacciatore.  I used skim milk and chintzed on the cheese for WW purposes, but it was still super good.

I only used about half of my extra 35 points for the week- so I’m still in good shape.  I will have to change my weigh-in day this week.  Thursday morning we’re taking maddie to Elmo Live- so I will be on the good ole LIRR while Thursday morning meeting is taking place.  I’m a little nervous to weight in at night- but I do need to go to the meeting- I have good momentum now, and I don’t want it to stop!

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