Tuesday Dinner: Grilled Salmon with Mustard-Herb Crust

   Last nights dinner was a more simple dish to make but a good reminder that you don’t need some elaborate recipe to have a great dinner.  We decided to make Grilled Salmon with Mustard-Herb Crust.  This is another Weight Watcher Recipe so it has the point value included in the recipe.

PointsPlus Value: 7 per serving
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 8 min
Cooking Time: 12 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients
3 Tbsp rosemary , leaves, fresh, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh thyme , leaves, stemmed
1 tsp black pepper , freshly ground
2 spray(s) cooking spray
1 1/4 pound(s) uncooked salmon fillet(s), with or without skin , though skinless recommended, Atlantic-variety (four 5-ounce pieces)
4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard , regular or grainy-variety
Instructions
1. Prepare the grill for direct, medium-heat cooking.
2. Mix the rosemary, thyme and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Spray the bottom of the fish fillets with cooking spray (that is, spray the piece of the fillet where the skin would have been, usually with some gray or brown mottling on it).
4. Spread 1 tablespoon mustard on the top of each fillet. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the herb mixture on top of each.
5. Place fish herb-side up on the grate directly over the heat. Cover the grill and cook until the fish flakes when gently scraped with a fork, about 12 minutes. Transfer to plates with a wide spatula. Yields 1 fillet per serving.

    The side just consisted on asparagus and cherry tomatoes with some fresh garlic, salt, pepper, and some lemon juice.  Just a random thing Nicole whipped up to go with this salmon.  
    When grilling the salmon, we cooked at low heat because the salmon doesn’t get flipped, it cooks all the way through on one side.  When it was finished, it looked and tasted great.  This was one of my favorite recipes so far.

Monday Dinner: Jerked Seitan with Mango Salsa and New Potato Salad

  Well it’s back to the old drawing board.  The holidays are over, my birthday has passed, and there are no more excuses to be eating the way we have been.  We continued our healthy dinner practice last night with Jerked Seitan with Mango Salsa and New Potato Salad.  
  This is a recipe that we got from the extensive weight watchers community collection.  Nicole and I used to be vegetarians when we first met each other, and we both agree to this day that it introduced us to foods we would have never tried otherwise.  Even today we still incorporate a vegetarian dish or two into our weekly routine.  
  If you have never had Seitan before, or have never even heard of it, I suggest you try it out.  This was the “meat” I enjoyed most as a vegetarian.  I was the worst kind of vegetarian, constantly looking for substitutes for the non-vegetarian food I had loved.  Seitan is a great meat substitute and you can find it in the cooler of your local grocery store if they have an organic section.  Its also something that you can make from scratch but it’s a huge pain in the ass and I never got it to taste right.

Here is the recipe:

PointsPlus Value: 8 per serving
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 25 min
Cooking Time: 8 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients
1 spray(s) cooking spray
1 Tbsp jerk seasoning
1 pound(s) seitan slice(s) , rinsed and dried, cut into 16 pieces
1 large mango(es) , diced  
1 small jalapeño pepper(s) , diced (don’t touch seeds with bare hands)  
1/4 cup(s) fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp uncooked red onion(s) , diced  
1 pound(s) uncooked red potato(es) , boiled, cooled and cut into quarters  
3 medium uncooked scallion(s) , sliced  
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
Instructions
1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place jerk seasoning on a plate and roll seitan in seasoning to coat on all sides. Brown seitan in skillet, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
2. In a medium bowl, combine mango, jalapeno, lime juice and red onion; cover and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, mix potatoes with scallions, vinegar and oil; toss to coat potatoes.
4. To serve, place 1/4 of seitan on a dinner plate, top with 1/4 of salsa and serve with 1/2 cup of potato salad.

I won’t lie. I realized when we started the recipe that I had never cut a mango before.  Not that it was at all difficult, I just never did it!  Youtube.

Boiling the potatoes takes the longest when preparing this.  The recipe called for red potatoes but we just used fingerling potatoes mainly because we had them in the house already.

Jerking the Seitan before cooking…


   Besides the potatoes, we also altered the recipe by replacing the scallions with shallots, two minor changes. At first bite, we both agreed it tasted a little bland.  Once the flavors started to mix together, it actually got really tasty.  The mango and onion really made this dish pop and the jalapeno peppers gave it some really good spice.  If you are not a fan of really spicy foods, don’t worry, this isn’t spicy at all.  The potatoes do a great job of keeping the jalapeno’s from overpowering the dish.           All in all, I think I’d make this again.  I’m not nuts about it, but it was a nice blend of flavors worthy of being made a second time.

Week 8 Weight Watchers

     Week 8, the weekend following Easter.  Last weekend I drank a ton and ate more than normal, although I stayed within my point allowance.  I thought for sure I was going to gain some weight but I didn’t!  I broke even.  So next week I should hopefully lose some more, now that there is no holiday weekend.
      This weekend is bottling weekend for my home brew.  Its tough to remain optimistic about my first batch, for some reason I still feel like its not going to go well.  I have to hit up the home brew store when Nicole gets home because I need bottling supplies.  I’ll be sure to snap some pictures of the process.  Also this weekend Nicole and I are going to tackle a few things in the back yard as we prepare it for the fence we are putting up.
More pictures to come!

Week 5 weigh-in

     I crushed it this week.  After a disappointing weight loss of .2 pounds last week, I strolled into the bathroom this morning, hopped onto the scale and looked down at a “196”, a loss of 6.2 pounds.  I had reached my initial goal weight.  When we first started, I gave myself a “realistic” goal to reach.  I was going to get down from 212-196.  This morning I set a new goal of getting below 190.
    This is the biggest weight loss week I’ve had so far which makes me sit back and wonder what I did different this week.  What I had done this week was simply eat more of my weekly bonus points and I stopped eating anything of substance after dinner.  I pretty much have a routine down now where my breakfast is the biggest meal I have of the day.  Usually hovering around 16 points, I have two cups of coffee with two servings of creamer, a sausage, egg, and cheese English muffin, and maybe some granola mixed in with some yogurt and fruit.  Between breakfast and lunch, I may have an apple.  For lunch I usually have a sandwich with rye bread, turkey, lettuce tomato, light mayo, mustard, turkey bacon. and fat free swiss. Sounds like a lot?  Its a pretty big sandwich. 6 points!  I may have a weight watchers ice cream between lunch, or some other 2 point snack, but I always have my serving of V-8 low sodium vegetable juice. Then for dinner I keep it around 3-6 points.  I love eating fish because its so low in points usually.  Then at the end of the night, I may have some fruit or a tomato w/ balsamic.  I also usually have a beer or glass of wine.  One thing Nicole and I like to do is have some Tea right before bed, its become sort of a ritual.
    This program is awesome.  Its not really a diet as much as it is just getting healthy.  I eat more on this diet then I did when I wasn’t dieting, it just helps you eat the right combination of foods to boost your metabolism.  I am sure next week I will lose almost nothing again (seems to be a pattern, every other week), but this week I’m feeling pretty good!

Week 4 Weigh-in

    A slow week for me this week.  I went from 202.4 to 202.2.  Not much of a loss but according to weight watchers, I am right on track.  My average weight loss for 4 weeks has been 2.6 pounds a week and weight watchers says the average should be around 2.  That being said, I’m not frustrated at all.  2.6 pounds a week is a healthy rate of loss, I’m just super eager to get below 200!  This weekend, I’m going to try to stay active.

Week 3 Weigh-In!

    Today is weigh-in day for week 3.  I lost another 1.6 pounds.  It’s a loss, but I would’ve liked to have lost at least 2.  This brings my weight to 202.4.  I’m so close to being under 200, I can taste it!  Pretty soon when I walk down the street, women will get light headed and have irregular heart beats because my new look.  Nicole is super lucky.

“Would you like to go for a bike ride back to my place for some Sangria?”

   

Week 2 Weigh-in!

    Two weeks into Weight Watchers and I’m down from about 211 pounds to 202.4!  This plan has been pretty easy, I’m able to eat comfortably, even though I’ll always miss over eating! Giving up bourbon and beer during the week is tough.  I love those two things. I love them.  Nicole is having really good luck with it also and is losing weight too.  Its nice wearing fit shirts and not looking like a sausage.
    Last night was the first weight watchers dinner that I failed at making.  The recipe listed was for chicken marsala.  Everything was going great until the final step.  I was to “pour marsala mixture into the pan” with the sauteed mushrooms.  As soon as I did this, it looked like I blew an alien’s brain up.  It turned into a disgusting, coagulated, purple sloppy mess.  It looked like something from a 90’s Nickelodeon game show.  So we had to toss that mess and just have chicken and veggies.
    We have been babysitting my parents dog all week.  She is an amazing dog, but a total diva.  She doesn’t go outside when it rains.  I have to push her into the yard.  She also needs me to season her healthy dog food with a few morsels of my dogs food or she wont eat.  She is super ridiculous, but we love her and it’s nice having a big dog around.

Izzy (right) really likes Ric (left), but she hates being away from my parents.  This looks like a wedding picture from a fixed marriage.

Weight Watchers: Week 1

    Last Monday, Nicole and I started Weight Watchers.  We figured that if we started it now, by the time we get married in a few months, we will look awesome.  We have tried all sorts of diets before this one, and they are all really bad.  Calorie counting sucks and it doesn’t work well.  My mom has lost a ridiculous amount of weight in the time she’s been on it, so we decided to do it.  In 6 days I had lost about 5 pounds.  I am allowed 43 points a day and sometimes its hard to even eat that much.  In addition to that I get 49 cheater points which are points that you get for the week to splurge.  I save those for beer on the weekend.  So far its super comfortable to do and sort of fun because it forces me to cook food.  There are hundreds of recipes for lunch, breakfast, dinner, and appetizers.  I figure why not blog some healthy recipes that I really love.
    Last week we made a bunch of things, the thing I liked the most was the Turkey Reuben.  This is a great, filling sandwich and it’s only 5 points!  The recipe is as follows:

Weight Watchers Turkey Reuben
Low calorie or light Rye Bread
2oz of 98% fat free turkey
Low fat Swiss cheese (we used the fat free)
Dijon mustard
Sauerkraut

Fire up a skillet or pan and spray it with some PAM spray.  While the pan is heating up, build your sandwich.  Once the sandwich is built and put together, place it on the pan until both sides are a golden brown.

Build the sandwich. 

Spray your pan or skillet with PAM.  

Brown both sides of the sandwich and melt the cheese. 

Look at these babies. 

2oz of turkey seems like a horribly small amount, but its really not.

The sandwich is 5 points, and the addition of the chips below make this lunch  8  points.

This brand of chips is awesome.  20 chips are 3 points. 

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