Greek Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Think Tank Momma

It's that time again.  This week's theme is SALADS.  Perfect for all you LIBers!  So definitely go check out some of the links over there at my main blog!

Here is a QUICK, LIGHT and SATISFYING summer salad for you.


3-4 medium vine ripe tomatoes (If you find the little pear shaped grape tomatoes looking lovely at the market then by all means use those red and yellow are amazing this time of year)
1 large Seedless cucumber
1 cup 1/3 less fat feta cheese
1 small red onion sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano

Cut the tomatoes into large chucks.  (If you use the grape tomatoes just half them.)  Dice the cucumber and add both to a large bowl.  If you're like me the red onion can be a little overwhelming sometimes.  After you thinly slice it, soak it in some ice water for 5-10 minutes and some of the bite will be left behind.  Dry the onions and add the the tomato/cucumber mixture.  In a small bowl whisk the olive oil and vinegar.  Pour over the other ingredients.  Add cheese and oregano and toss the salad.  Allow the salad to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or so while the flavors marry together!  You can top with a bit of fresh mint or Italian Flat Leaf Parsley for a little flavor if you like.


Stuffed Peppers

Earlier this week I shared my weekly dinner plan with you. One of the recipes was Stuffed Peppers with Bulgur. I made those at the beginning of the week and they turned out faaaaaabulous!

I thought I would share my photo and relink the recipe because it's Share a Spoon time and today's theme is Stuff It!!

I posted my recipe on the Weight Watchers Site: Stuffed Peppers with Bulgur

Bulgur is a form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, cooked, dried, and ground. It can be found in most grocery stores in the baking isle. It is hearty, easy to cook and blends nicely with ground beef dishes. I love to sneak bulgur into many of my kids favorite meals like tacos, sloppy joe's and meatloaf because they can't tell it's in there! Made entirely from whole grain wheat it is loaded with fiber and nutrition! If you have a health food store near you, you can buy it in bulk and save on cost. Pound for pound it is much cheaper than lean ground beef which helps keep you trim and healthy and your wallet nice and plump!

For more great Stuff It recipes hop on by Think Tank Mama's place and stuff it!

Think Tank Momma

Mmmm Mmmm Good!

Hello Bitches!! Tamara here once again! I have been a cooking fool this week! Earlier I posted my weekly dinner menu and I wanted to update you on the recipes I have made.

I have to say that I am not working with Weight Watchers in any way. They are not aware that I am blogging about them here. I wanted to get that out of the way in case some of ya thought I was pitching for them. I genuinely love their program and it has worked in the past for me which is why I chose to jump on board with them again years later.

What I love most about Weight Watchers Online is that you use regular food. No prepackaged junk. They have their own line of products now, but honestly, I don't buy into them because a lot of the dessert foods have hydrogenated oils and junk in them so even though they are low fat and calories they are not exactly the best food choice.

I have found that replacing many of my carbs with veggies helps me feel full. I eat a ton of veggies now. I love sprinkling a little lemon pepper and spray butter on them.

I also eat a fudge bar when I want something sweet and that helps keep my portion size in check. Fudge bars are only 1.5 points so they don't set me back at all!

Last night I made the Roast Pork Tenderloin with Zucchini Alfredo and I have to admit I was impressed! Now, it is not at all like the real thing, but I think it tasted fantastic! Using a potato peeler, you shave the zucchini lengthwise to make the "noodles" and you saute them with white wine, mushrooms, seasoning and fat free half and half. I used panko crumbs instead of bread crumbs (they don't have hydrogenated oils like regular bread crumbs do) on the pork tenderloin. I also seasoned it up quite a bit because I love how herbs just make food pop! Also, lemon juice brings out a tangy flavor and is a great replacement for salt.

On a side note, I was not aware of fat free creamer before making this, and I love my coffee in the morning, but I was using coffee mate creamer which is just AWFUL for you. I could not find a way to lighten my coffee. The liquid form is full of calories and fat and the powder form, the first ingredient is hydrogenated oil! So this week I have been using the fat free creamer and a sugar free caramel flavored coffee syrup and WOW talk about a great cup of coffee without the guilt! I am excited about my find!

Ok so back to dinner last night. It was fabulous, my whole family loved it. I will be making this again! The only changes I made was using panko crumbs and extra herbs for the pork tenderloin, and spritzing lemon juice on the zucchini and adding a touch of shredded romano cheese to both.

I paired this up with baked apples. I wanted something that would go great with pork and I had a bag of apples so I chopped and skinned about 10 gala apples. I sprayed a casserole dish with cooking spray and placed the apples inside. I added about 2 oz of raisins, a good dash of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves all in one handy container!) I used smart balance buttery spray and gave the apples a good coating. I added 2 heaping tbsp of brown sugar and covered the dish with foil. I baked it for approx 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

They came out so yummy! Perfectly paired with dinner! The kids scarfed 'em down! I hate watching produce go bad and this was a great way to use up those extra apples!

So my dinner calculated up to 6 points and that includes my baked apples!

Tomorrow is "Stuff It" day for Think Tank Mama's Share a Spoon so I'll post my pics and update on my Stuffed Peppers with Bulgur recipe I made earlier!

Have a great Hump Day!!

WW Update and My Dinner Menu

I just logged my weight today and I am down 4 lbs in a week!

I survived my first week although I squeezed every single point I could out of my allowance!

I wanted to share my weekly dinner menu with you, in case you want to try some of the recipes out.

Tonight I am making Stuffed Bell Peppers.

It is my recipe and I just added it to my plan manager so there are no photos but you can check out the link:

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Bulgur 7 points

Tuesday: Chicken Caesar Pita and Broccoli Cheese Soup 6 points

Wednesday: Turkey Burgers with Gorganzola Cheese and Sweet Potato Fries (I haven't posted the recipe yet but I am using frozen lean turkey patties, adding a bit of cheese, wrapping them in lettuce (no bun) and serving with homemade baked sweet potato fries.

Thursday: Roast Pork Tenderloin with Zucchini Alfredo 4 points

Friday: Beef Blue Cheese Quesadillas with black beans 5 points

I'll take photos and review these recipes throughout the week!

Share a Straw - Sangria Blanca

Think Tank Momma

LIBer's!  It's Share a Straw over at the Tank today, so I thought I would share over here as well.  I have some tips I have dug up for you all too.  Seriously, there is no quicker way to TANK a diet than to insert alcohol.  Well hell, you insert alcohol and it can do in friendships, reputations, dignity and definitely a diet.

Alcohol is a dirty little whore who can lower your blood sugar to make you feel hungry.  It lowers your inhibitions so you think "I need just one more."  It dehydrates your body which makes you think you need to drink more.  And last but not least, it will cause you to eat without thought because that resolve you had about sticking to your diet is a distant thought and the buzzing call of the social butterfly has bitten your diet squarely in the ass.

Oh...those butterflies.  So pretty.  Just like all those fruity cocktails the bartender is mixing up.  BEWARE of mixed drinks bitches!  They have lots of juice, and sugary mixes, and calories galore!  Many of them have more calories than a dessert!  NOT. EVEN. KIDDING.  Mixologists add calories in the details of their craft.  A sugared rim, a chocolate martini with all the pretty drizzles of chocolate and graham cracker rimmed glass and oh it looks so good?  438 calories! <---doesn't look so good in numbers huh?  The giant Frozen Mudslide at TGIFriday's has 1100 CALORIES!  OH MY HELL!  There goes an entire day's calories.

However, there are many things you can do to avoid those drinks, and still enjoy a cocktail if that is your prerogative.  When attending a party, or going out with the girls, or dining out, you need to have a "GAME PLAN".  Determine what you plan to drink before going out.  Make allowances for those extra calories in your day.  Always drink lots of water that day.  Eat before you go to a bar or happy hour so you are less inclined to dive into that food.  Wine and light beers for the most part are a low-cal option.  There is a common misconception that light beer has less alcohol, meaning you have to drink more.  Not so.  Light beer has exact same alcohol content.  Single servings of light liquors such as vodka, gin and light rum with a splash of fresh fruit juice and tonic or sparkling water are also low-cal options.

If you must have a high calorie "dessert" type drink, then make it dessert.  Cut back on your meal and have an indulgence.  But only have one.

For a nice at home low-calorie option try this White Sangria or Sangria Blanco

1 Bottle Barefoot Pinot Grigio
2 oranges sliced
1 lemon sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peaches sliced
1 cup of Brandy

In a large picture combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  If you enjoy some bubbles in your drink add a bit of sparkling water or club soda in glass.

Servings = 6  125 calories per serving

Holly over at 504 Main posted a Light Mojito recipe for you rum lovers today as well.  Go check it out.

Live It

I'm excited that some of my Bitches are hopping on the WW Train with me! Today is day two and I have to say it has been....restraining. That is the only word I can use to describe this. Had I not paid for this service I can honestly say I'd be pigging out at this point.

Yesterday I ordered a Spicy Italian Sub and thought if I omitted the mayo and the oil I was being a good girl. When I went to log the points I was horrified to see that I had used HALF my daily points on this one item!

Lesson learned. Never assume. Unless it's a veggie that is raw, or a condiment there will always be POINTS involved!

Like a baby learning to walk...I am finding the right balance and sometimes teetering over the edge. I will fall, but I will pick myself up and keep going.

One thing I KNOW about Weight Watchers is I will see results. The first two weeks are the hardest and I can't put enough emphasis on that word...HARDEST.

I'm like an addict. Fidgety, chewing on my nails. Good thing I have gum. It seems to calm my nerves a little.

Who knew food had such an affect on me?

Anyway, I am keeping a blog at Weight Watchers to document my progress. Not that I don't have enough on my plate...well wait..I don't have enough on my plate...what were we talking about again?

Where the hell is my gum?!?

Cheapskate Mom Joins Weight Watchers

I've had it, ladies. I am tired of my muffin top and fretting over what to wear each day. I am a cheap mutha but I also know a good thing when I've tried it and I am entering round two with Weight Watchers online.

Today is my first day and already I have been hit with obstacles. A Hershey's bar in the freezer. Marshmallows in the cupboard and caramels on the counter. Normally I would succomb to their sweet calls and have a taste here and there for breakfast but because I am committing myself to being successful on WW I have turned down all that junk. A huge motivational tool for me is that I am paying for this service so I don't want to fail and let my dollars go down the drain.

For those of you wanting to know, I paid $54.85 for 3 months on the Weight Watchers online program. Right now when you register for the 3 months up front, they waive the sign up fee which is normally $29.95. This is good thru August 5th. The monthly rate is $17.95 per month which honestly is not bad at all considering you can spend that much on coffee in a week!

I like WW Online because it has all the tools I need to be successful without the meetings, which I am sure help some people but I would be a bit embarrassed to go. The last time I was on WW I lost almost 25 lbs. I only quit when I got pregnant with my youngest. Of course being pregnant and all, I allowed my cravings to get the better of me.

So here I am, my youngest is now 2 and I am watching the scale creep back up to that weight I was when I joined WW before. I had told myself I would never allow that to happen. I have been working out and trying to make better choices but I am not at all disciplined when it comes to portion control.

For my height and weight (5'9 157 lbs) I am allotted 23 Flex Points per day. I am not sure of exact calculations but they base the points value by combining the calories, fat and fiber in the items you are eating.

It also helps me lose weight because I have to pause before I eat long enough to find out how many points I am using up. I'm usually an impulsive eater so this helps me take the time to make wiser choices.

So for the next few months, I'll be sharing my experiences on the WW program as well as recipes. Any Weight Watchers members out there? Comment me and let me know!

Now, onto a recipe I made for breakfast this morning. I found this one: Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Scallions and Tomatoes but I was only cooking for myself so I changed it up to my tastes while keeping the Points Value at 3.

These are my ingredients after changing:

1 item(s) egg
1 Tbsp scallion(s)
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 oz fat-free cream cheese
1 Tbsp 1% low-fat milk
1 oz mushroom(s)

I added the mushrooms because I need more substance to my meal and I changed the cream cheese from light to fat free. I did not have egg whites on hand but I highly recommend using them because they are less Points value and you get more!

Here is how they turned out:

Oh and this is a salad plate so this is what the portion size looks like:

I thought the eggs tasted good. I was tempted to add some wheat toast but I gave it a whirl without those extra carbs and I have to admit after pairing this with my cuppa coffee I am pretty satisfied.

I set my goal at 25 lbs to lose in 3 months. I know that is a pretty high bar but I love a good challenge. Honestly I would be thrilled to lose 15 lbs but I haven't been at 135 lbs since before having my 1st son! Since I am done having babies I figure why not go back to prepreprebaby weight?!

So fellow it or not, I'm gonna have lots of tips and goodies for you over the next few months!

Share a Spoon - Skinny Dippin'

Think Tank Momma

One of the hardest things about a change in lifestyle is craving the things we used to love.  You can't deprive yourself.  I have said that time and time again and it's true!  Today over at Think Tank Momma we are doing Share a Spoon.  Many of the recipes linked there are not exactly "light".  Today's theme though is Party Pleezers and Appeteezers.  The death of the diet has been attributed to many a party!  We do so well, and stick with it, and then BLAM!  There is a party and we just mean to have a few bites. 

Before you know it, you have been GRAZING the whole party.  NOT GOOD.  So, here are a few tips.  Eat before you go to the party, or before your guests arrive.  When you are full, those tempting items aren't as appetizing.  Look for the fruit and veggie tray.  Hummus is also a lower fat option.  Where alcoholic beverages are concerned, light liquors with diet soda or a glass of wine.  Stay away from fruity drinks.  They are laden with sugar and juices to make them taste good.  MUCHO CALORIES!  Alternate a glass of water or diet soda in between consuming alcoholic beverages.

So, on to the recipe.  I love ranch and blue cheese.  LOVE IT!  A great ranch dip and some Ruffles?  Oh yeah baby!  So, I worked on one until I found something that is calorie friendly and delivers BIG on flavor so I don't feel like I am eating lowfat no flavor Ranch.

2 pkg of Ranch Buttermilk Recipe
16 oz Fat Free Sour Cream
1 cup Light Mayo
1 cup Gorganzola crumbles (I use the lower fat cheese option)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

Mix sour cream and mayo in large bowl until smooth.  Add the cream and mix well.  I add the cream to give the dip a silky rich texture, but by all means, if you want to leave it out feel free to cut those calories. Add in the Ranch packets and mix until completely incorporated.  Stir in cheese crumbles.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

I replace the chips with sliced cucumbers.

This dip is wonderful as an accompaniment to baked buffalo wings.  It pairs well with all raw vegetables for a veggie tray.  My boys love it with baby carrots!  BDC eats it with sliced red and yellow bell peppers.  It's even calorie friendly enough to have a few light Ruffles with, to thwart that potato chip craving.  ALL THINGS IN MODERATION!

What's working for you?

Soooo I've been busting my butt at the gym for the past oh maybe 8 weeks and I got nothing to show for it. Well scratch that, I'm actually 4 lbs heavier then when I started!

Back in the day all I had to do was think about working out and I'd lose weight! I'd sit all day at my desk eating gummy bears and yogurt raisins because the gummy bears were "fat free" and the yogurt raisins were "health food" and the weight would fly off. Oh how dumb I was, but with stupidity came great metabolism...something that apparently has been lost for some time now.

I think I am getting old. Perhaps on the cusp of menopausal? I'm creeping towards mid 30's so that may have something to do with it. Perhaps it's because I attack anything sugar the moment I see it? Or maybe it's because I spend over half my downtime on my ass in front of the computer...I don't know.

What I do know is that I do not want to keep gaining weight.

My weakness is sugar. I love junk food. I just ate 8 twizzlers and 2 marshmallows typing this post. I know it's easy to say stop or put it away but I guess I'm a little more needy than that.

So I am turning to you, my bitches. What is working for you? How do you fight off those nasty cravings? Is it possible to co-exist with junk in the house? (I have kids and it's hard to totally get rid of these foods)

What is your weakness and how are you battling it?

I can't wait to hear your ideas!

Cluckity Cluck Cluck Cluck

Bach, Bach.....CHICKEN!  I love Chicken.  Like seriously, I could eat chicken every single day and never get tired of it.  I know most people aren't that way, and that people get tired of the same ol' same ol'.  But here's the thing, you could eat chicken everyday and never have the same dish twice.  It is the most versatile meat.  I know lots of you out there don't like the white meat because it dries out, blah, blah, blah. 

It only dries out if you cook it too long.  I thought I would share some tips and a quick recipe with you today bitches!  I marinate my chicken quite often.  One of my favorites and my family's too, is Italian Dressing.  You just take whatever your favorite Italian Dressing (there are some really great lowfat or fat free variations out there now) is, and enough chicken breasts to feed your family.  Take a large Ziploc plastic bag.  Add your boneless skinless chicken, your dressing and put it in the fridge.  Easy right?

I bake chicken this way, grill it, broil it, and I have even sauteed it in a skillet.  It's fantastic regardless of how you choose to cook it.  Cook this chicken anyway you want.  Then add the best topper ever.


3-4 tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 clove of garlic grated
3-4 Tablespoons of FRESH basil julienned
About 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
About a cup of shredded Asiago Cheese (depending on how many breasts you have)

In a large bowl mix your tomatoes.  (To seed them, remove the top and bottom of the tomato.  Over the garbage can, sink or another bowl, squeeze the juice and seeds from the tomato.)  Roll your basil bunches together after removing the stems and slice very thin.  Add to bowl.  Grate one large fresh garlic clove over the mixture.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Top with olive oil.  Stir mixture well. 

Top your cooked chicken with the tomato mixture and place in the oven on 400 degrees  for 4-5 minutes.  Just long enough to warm the tomato mixture through.  Remove from oven and top with the Asiago Cheese.
Voila!  Best chicken ever!

 (Image from Google images.  Yours should have more Cheese.)

Share A Spoon: Pizza Pasta

This week's Share A Spoon theme is casseroles and you know I love a good challenge so I found a great comforting casserole recipe and kept it tasty and healthy!

Is it pizza or is it pasta? It's BOTH!! I know what you are thinking...Girrrrl this is NOT healthy! *neckroll*double snap

Don't worry, my bitches! I've trimmed the fat from this dish so we can have our pizza and our pasta too!

By replacing traditional pepperoni with the turkey variety this cuts the fat down from 13 grams per serving to 4 grams per serving! It also cuts the calories in half! I can vouch that turkey pepperoni tastes just as good (even better in my opinion) as regular pepperoni! Using whole grain pasta adds lots of fiber to your meal. I use the Barilla whole grain spaghetti noodles and there are 6 grams of fiber per serving!

Portion control is key. Use your fist as a guide (get your mind out of the gutter!) Your portion should be around the same size as your fist.

Serve this with a salad or some steamed zucchini and yellow squash.


1 pkg whole grain spaghetti (approx 14 oz)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (I like to use the cheap Hunts cans-Four Cheese)
1 can of Italian Diced Tomatoes
1 8 oz package of Italian Shredded cheese
1/2 package of Turkey Pepperoni
1 small can sliced olives (or veggies of your choice)
Italian Seasoning (to taste)
Garlic Powder (to taste)
1 tsp Fennel Seed (optional)


Prepare a casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare pasta as directed on package

In a saucepan combine spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, italian seasoning, garlic powder, and fennel (if you like this spice, it is also used in Italian sausage it adds a distinct flavor so make sure you like it!) simmer over low heat stirring every few minutes.

Drain pasta and add to casserole dish.
Add sauce to casserole dish (no need to stir)
Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the top
Add pepperoni and veggie toppings of your choice (black olives are pictured above)
sprinkle with Italian seasoning

Bake in oven approx 30 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.

Do you have a great casserole recipe to share? Well then join in on the fun over at Think Tank Mama's place!!