I’m embarrassed that I have had this cookbook and have been meaning to post a review of it FOREVER. The nice folks at Saint Martin’s Press sent it to me, and it’s a fantastic cookbook. The more I use it, the more I love it. I’ve never done Weight Watchers, but I know a lot of people who have with great success. Even if you are not dieting or involved in Weight Watchers, though, this this is a great cookbook to have in your library. The recipes are not all about using fat-free ingredients, and shunning food groups, etc. The focus is on fresh ingredients and healthy cooking tips.
There is a blurb about each recipe (a lot are favorites that have been updated). Servings and portion sizes, and nutritional information with PointsPlus points (if you are following the Weight Watchers 360 program) are also included with the recipes. Recipes that are vegetarian and/or under 20 minutes to prepare are noted. The recipes are very easy to follow, the photography beautiful, but best of all, the dishes are wonderful. I have made the Lemon Basil Three Bean Salad about four or five times. It is my new go to side dish for grilling or having a get together (see recipe below).
I made the Pork Chops with Onion Gravy last night, and it was AMAZING. The cool thing about it is that you cook the onions in chicken broth, rather than sauteing them in a lot of oil and butter (a la The Barefoot Contessa), but you don’t sacrifice flavor at all. So you are only using 1 teaspoon of olive oil for the whole dish. I will definitely make this again. It is key that you use bone-in pork chops so they stay moist, and this is noted in the recipe.
Another recipe I absolutely love is the Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups. I make this for myself all the time now. I’m the only one who likes spicy foods, so I just make a single portion using our toaster oven. I love the idea of making the cups using an inverted ramekin or muffin tin. It works like a charm. And I love baked eggs and Mexican food, so this is one of my favorites.
There are a lot of really simple recipes that I’ve tried out that I am not reviewing here, but that I use regularly and vary to my liking. Omelettes for Two (you use 2 large eggs and 3 whites), Canadian Bacon-Cheddar Frittata, Potato Leek Soup, Kale Chips, Banana “Ice Cream”, Oven Fried Fish and Chips, Vegetable Quesadillas, to name a few.
I chose to highlight these three because they were all very good, and I learned something from them that I think is valuable and that I’ll incorporate into other recipes (e.g. Including edamame in bean salad, and using lemon juice and zest, rather than vinegar; making tortilla cups; and cooking a pile of onions and softening them in chicken broth).
And there are TON of recipes I want to try out in the future, like: Bubble Bread with Herbs and Sun Dried Tomatoes, Southwestern Chicken Vegetable Soup, Mexican Chicken Wraps, Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy, Individual Beef Wellingtons, Boston Cream Pie. These are just a handful of them. If I were to wait until I made everything, photographed the dishes, wrote about them, and posted about it, this review would take even longer than it has to get out!
Please enjoy these three dishes from Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook, and buy the book for more great healthy and delicious recipes!
Lemon Basil Three-Bean Salad
From The Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook
20 Min or Less
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 (15-ounce) can small white, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup cooked shelled green soybeans (edamame)
1/3 sweet onion, finely diced
1/3 red bell pepper, finely diced
5 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt, and ground pepper in a medium bowl. Add the black beans, white beans, soybeans, onion, bell pepper, and basil; toss to coat evenly. Serve at once, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Per Serving (3/4 cup): 160 Cal, 3 g Total Fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 mg Chol, 427 mg Sod, 26g Carb, 8 g Fib, 9g Prot, 94 mg Calc.
PointsPlus value: 4
Skillet Pork Chops with Onion Gravy
From Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook
4 (6-ounce) bone-in pork loin chops, trimmed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 ¼ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Sprinkle the chops with the salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. (I used a cast iron one). Swirl in the oil, add the chops and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2 Add the onions, ¼ cup of the broth, and the garlic to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very tender, about 12-15 minutes.
3 Sprinkle the onions with the flour; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 cup broth, mustard, and thyme. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Return the chops and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chops are heated through, 2-3 minutes.
Per Serving (1 chop with ¼ cup sauce):
253 Cal, 11 g Total Fat, 4g Sat Fat, 76 mg Chol, 420 g Sod, 9 g Carb, 2 g Fiber, 29g Prot, 30 mg Calc.
PointsPlus value: 6
Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (14 ½-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup canned diced mild green chiles, drained
2-3 tablespoons mild peepper sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 large eggs
¼ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- Place the oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly spray both sides of the tortillas with nonstick spray. Place 4 inverted custard cups on a baking sheet, and drape a tortilla over each to give it a bowl shape. (You may also use an inverted 12-cup muffin pan, placing the tortillas over alternate cups.) Bake until the tortillas are crisped and lightly golden around the edges, 10 minutes. Remove the tortillas and set them on a rack to cool.
- Combine the diced tomatoes, beans, chiles, pepper sauce, cumin, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in an ovenproof skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the flavors are blended, 4 minutes. Break the eggs one at a time, on top of the sauce, spacing them evenly apart.
- Immediately place the pan in the oven and bake until the eggs are almost set, 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggs and bake until melted, 1 minute. to serve, place the tortilla cups on serving plates and spoon the eggs and sauce into the tortilla cups. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
Per Serving (1 filled tortilla cup): 289 Cal, 8g Total fat, 3 g Sat Fat, 216 mg Chol, 840 Sod, 40g, Carb, 8 g fib, 17g Prot, 200 mg Calc.
PointsPlus value: 7