Before all my heart stuff began, I weighed a little more than 200 lbs. Today, I weigh about 165 lbs. I owe my weight loss to the encouragement of my doctors, to the support of my loving wife and to a certain extent to the inspired meal ideas provided by Weight Watchers.
I didn't join Weight Watchers; my wife did. She went on the program and I tagged along. Many of the Weight Watchers meals follow the same rules that guide my heart healthy diet. Where the two diets differ, my wife and I make a few small changes and all falls back into sync.
A person taking the Weight Watchers path to weight loss doesn't so much go on a diet as learn a new way of approaching eating. Diets are over when the weight is lost. For this reason, many folk put back the pounds they've shed as soon as they've also shed the diet. Weight Watchers teaches its adherents a new way, a better way, to eat with the accent on flavour.
We eat lots of fruits and vegetables and we minimize the meats, especially red meats. We've both learned to love the rich variety of fish available in our local stores. My doctors are very pleased with my success.
This morning my wife picked up a new Weight Watchers magazine with 35 new recipes. Tonight, we tackled the recipe featured on the cover: lemony one-pan orecchiette with sausage and broccolini. We substituted broccoli for the broccolini and one low-fat turkey sausage for the pound of spicy sausage used in the recipe.
1 ground meat from one large, spicy, turkey sausage
1 large onion diced
1/2 tsp salt
3 minced garlic cloves
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 900ml box chicken broth
8 oz. orecchiette pasta
2 cups chopped broccoli
4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped, fresh basil
- Remove the sausage meat from the skin, break up and cook in the skillet over medium heat for about eight minutes. When nicely browned, transfer to a bowl.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the salt while the onion is cooking. This may take five minutes
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook for about eight minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add broccoli and cook for another four minutes. The pasta should be al dente at the finish.
- Turn the heat down to low, add the cooked sausage, three Tbsp of Parmesan, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Sprinkle in tomatoes. Bring everything up to temperature. You may have to boost the heat briefly.
- Sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan and serve.
- A little heart healthy vegetable oil for frying the various ingredients: sausage, onion, garlic . . .
Depending on how you feel about lemon zest, you may want to cutback on the suggested Tbsp. My wife and I loved the strong hit of lemon. You might feel differently. We also like heat and we may double the amount of red pepper flakes.
Using only a small amount of spicy, turkey sausage kept the saturated fat content of this recipe quite low. But, the flavour hit is quite high. This dinner does not come across as a heart healthy or diet meal. And, that's the way it should be.
Keep an eye out for the Weight Watchers magazine. Many magazine stands carry them. You might be pleasantly surprised at the recipes inside.