Thursday, February 15, 2007
Yesterday brought us the much anticipated kick-off of our Weight Watchers at Work program. I was just about to give up and sink into a vat of cheese dip, because we couldn't seem to get enough people coordinated on selecting a day and finding a group leader.
But we did it, and I'm all set up with my little points counter and chock full of good resolutions that I promptly blew at lunch today. And, I had started out making such good choices. We went out for lunch (first bad idea), and we went to a Mexican restaurant (second bad idea). I ordered the chicken soup (good idea), but then I ate chips and salsa (bad idea). However, I did manage to resist the cheese dip, which took an enormous amount of willpower, because I am highly addicted to that white gooey stuff with peppers. I'd be perfectly happy with a big bowl of that, 3-4 baskets of chips, and a frosted mug of Dos Equis Dark--who needs fajitas?!
WW has changed a bit since I last looked at (and failed at) the program. They've got the Points version and something called Core, which is no counting of points...personally, I think I need the accountability of the Points plan for this to work. It's not like I (and probably everyone else on the planet) don't know what to do to lose weight, but personally, unless I'm paying money and having to account for myself each week, I'm not going to even get started. I know, I know, a flaw in my otherwise stellar personality.
I even pre-planned for lunch today by making something Points-friendly for dinner last night. (So what that I ate old-fashioned birthday cake with white icing for dessert...I was planning for a healthy lunch!)
I first discovered this recipe when I started cooking for Rita and trying to make her some healthy meals. This recipe is very, very tasty and really good for you, too. It comes from the Diabetes Cookbook in the American Medical Association's Cookbooks for Healthy Living series. I always add an extra onion, because I like to make sure I have enough (read: extra!) of the sauce.
Chicken with Carmelized Onions (4 servings)
4 tsps olive or canola oil
1 large yellow or white onion; about 8 oz.; halved vertically and cut into thin slivers
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chicken stock or fat-free, no-salt-added chicken broth
1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, ideally 4 oz each
1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh thyme, plus some sprigs for garnish if you like
In large non-stick saute pan, heat 3 tsps of oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown; about 20 minutes. (Don't burn the onions!) Add 1/4 tsp of the salt.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine stock, vinegar, and mustard, and whisk to blend. Add the carmelized onions and half the pepper and cook until liquid is reduced by half; 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and pound with a mallet or rolling pin (my favorite part!) to an even 1/4-inch thickness or so. Sprinkle pounded chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chopped thyme in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in the thyme, pressing to make the leaves stick. (You don't have to thoroughly coat the chicken with thyme; just make sure you get some on all sides of the chicken.)
In the same pan you cooked the onions in, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until opaque through; about 3-4 minutes per side.
To serve, place chicken on plate and top with onion sauce; garnish with sprig of thyme.
Nutritional Info for 1 serving: 191 calories; 6g fat; 27g protein; 6g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 4g sugars; 390mg sodium; 66mg cholesterol
Weight Watchers Points: 4 pts
Pretty damn yummy if I do say so myself, and it's quick and easy, too. Trifecta!