On the Menu This Week

Greek Style Cheeseburgers
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
Roasted Cornish Hens with Quinoa and Broccoli

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Week's Featured Recipe 7/5/09

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous

From Foods You Crave by Ellie Krieger
Serves 4
Points 8 (including couscous)
Cook time 15 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked


Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

Place the couscous in a serving bowl. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Nutritional Analysis per serving
Calories 353
Total Fat 6 grams
Saturated Fat 0.9 grams
Protein 34 grams
Carbohydrates 42 grams
Fiber 8 grams
This week I added mushrooms to the dish and it was great, just another way to sneak in some more veggies.
I love this recipe, it's fast and good and still good re-heated.

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My Plan

I did WeightWatchers once before in 2004-2005. I lost 50 pounds. I gained some back going through my divorce but the good news is I kept off 20 of them until I restarted WeightWatchers in January 2009.

For the first time, I have found a plan that was easy to stick to. Something just felt right this time. Before embarking on WeightWatchers I re-read some books I had found helpful in the middle of my last journey. The books are listed under "Weight Loss" Books on the side bar, and a blog post about them will follow soon. These books helped get me mentally prepared to lose weight and they are the reason I think I am finding losing to be less of a struggle. I am not letting myself get discouraged by small gains and I am seeing far more consistent results.

WeightWatchers gives you a points target based on weight and basic daily activity level. Every food has a points value based on calories, fiber and fat. Then its like a checkbook you start with your daily balance, subtract for foods eaten and add for activity done which can earn you points. Exercise=More Food. Each food point is roughly 50 calories and each activity point is worth roughly 100, I use a heart-rate monitor to calculate my activity points earned.

You also get 35 weekly points to use as you want anytime during the week. For me the most successful both mentally and on the scale is to use most of those points on Saturday night for a splurge and to then stick to my daily points fairly closely the rest of the week. It helps me to know my favourite foods are only a week away if I want them. People can manage the plan however they want but for me this is the most successful. When I'm working out a lot I try to eat some of those activity points as well. Ironically I get much smaller losses the weeks I don't eat those points on Saturday, maybe it shakes up my metabolism, who knows I just know it works

Finally my last key to my plan is attending meetings. It helps keep me accountable and on track.

Weight Loss Slideshow