On the Menu This Week

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

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Recipe of the Week 10/3/09

Tomato and Meat Sauce


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic or 4 tsp prepared garlic
  • 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1 lb ground beef 85% lean (will also give values for 95%)
  • 2 oz dry red wine (optional)


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add ground beef to skillet. Cook, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and their juices, salt, red pepper flakes and basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes for flavors to blend and for sauce to thicken slightly; taste and add wine if desire. Spoon sauce over spaghetti or spaghetti squash. Yields about 2/3 cup of sauce per serving.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Facts

Nutritional analysis per serving for 85% lean beef (Approximate)

Calories 250
Total Fat 13 grams
Saturated Fat 4.6 grams
Cholesterol 51 mg
Sodium 65 mg
Carbohydrates 12.7 grams
Protein 17 grams
Fiber 3.5 grams
5 points
Nutritional analysis per serving for 95% lean beef (Approximate)

Calories 192
Total Fat 5.4 grams
Saturated Fat 3.5 grams
Cholesterol 46 mg
Sodium 65 mg
Carbohydrates 12.7 grams
Protein 17 grams
Fiber 3.5 grams
3 points
Serve with 1 cup of spaghetti squash (0 points) for a delicious low cal meal or with pasta of your choice. Also good on a baked potato.

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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