About the Weight Watchers recipes:
While losing weight isn’t only about what you eat, Weight Watchers realizes the critical role it plays in your success and overall good health. That’s why Weight Watchers’ philosophy is to offer great-tasting, easy recipes that are nutritious as well as delicious. They make every attempt to use wholesome ingredients and to ensure that our recipes fall within the recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans for a diet that promotes health and reduces the risk for disease. In accordance with the guidelines, Weight Watchers encourages consuming fruits and vegetables and whole grains, choosing fat-free and low-fat dairy products, selecting lean meats, and limiting sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats, added sugars, refined grains, and alcohol. If you have special dietary needs, consult with your health-care professional for advice on a diet that is best for you, then adapt these recipes to meet your specific nutritional needs.
To achieve these good-health goals and get the maximum satisfaction from the foods you eat, we suggest you keep the following information in mind while preparing our recipes:
The PointsPlus® program and Good Nutrition
• Recipes in this website have been developed for Weight Watchers members who are following the PointsPlus program. PointsPlus values are given for each recipe. They’re assigned based on the amount of protein (grams), carbohydrates (grams), fat (grams), and fiber (grams) contained in a single serving of a recipe.
• Recipes include approximate nutritional information; they are analyzed for Calories (Cal),Total Fat, Saturated Fat (Sat Fat), Trans Fat, Cholesterol (Chol), Sodium (Sod), Carbohydrates (Carb), Sugar, Dietary Fiber (Fib), Protein (Prot), and Calcium (Calc). The nutritional values are calculated by dietitians, using nutrition analysis software.
• Substitutions made to the ingredients will alter the per-serving nutritional information and may affect the PointsPlus value.
• Weight Watchers recipes meet Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines for eating lean proteins and fiber-rich whole grains, and having at least five servings of vegetables and fruits and two servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products a day, while limiting your intake of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
• Health agencies recommend limiting sodium intake. To stay in line with this recommendation we keep sodium levels in our recipes reasonably low; to boost flavor, we often include fresh herbs or a squeeze of citrus instead of salt. If you don’t have to restrict your sodium, feel free to add a touch more salt as desired.
• Healthy Extra suggestions have a PointsPlus value of 0 unless otherwise stated.
PointsPlus® value Not What You Expected?
• You might expect some of the PointsPlus values in this book to be lower when some of the foods they’re made from, such as fruits and vegetables, have no PointsPlus values. All fruits and most veggies have no PointsPlus values when served as a snack or part of a meal, like a cup of berries with a sandwich. But if these foods are part of a recipe, their fiber and nutrient content are incorporated into the recipe calculations. These nutrients can affect the PointsPlus values.
• Alcohol is included in the PointsPlus calculations. Because alcohol information is generally not included on nutrition labels, it’s not an option to include when using the hand calculator or the online calculator. But since Weight Watchers include alcohol information that they get from their nutritionists you might notice discrepancies between the PointsPlus values you see in the recipes, and the values you get using the calculator. The PointsPlus values listed for the recipes are the most accurate values.
Shopping for Ingredients
As you learn to eat healthier and add more Power Foods to your meals, remember these tips for choosing foods wisely:
Lean Meats and Poultry Purchase lean meats and poultry, and trim them of all visible fat before cooking. When poultry is cooked with the skin on, we recommend removing the skin before eating. Nutritional information for recipes that include meat, poultry, and fish is based on cooked, skinless boneless portions (unless otherwise stated), with the fat trimmed.
Seafood Whenever possible, our recipes call for seafood that is sustainable and deemed the most healthful for human consumption so that your choice of seafood is not only good for the oceans but also good for you. For more information about the best seafood choices and to download a pocket guide, go to edf.org or montereybayaquarium.org. For information about mercury and seafood go to weightwatchers.com.
Produce For best flavor, maximum nutrient content, and the lowest prices, buy fresh, local produce, such as vegetables, leafy greens, and fruits in season. Rinse them thoroughly before using and keep a supply of cut-up vegetables and fruits in your refrigerator for convenient, healthy snacks.
Whole Grains Explore your market for whole grain products such as whole wheat and whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, bulgur, barley, cornmeal, whole wheat couscous, oats, and quinoa to enjoy with your meals.
Preparation and Measuring
Read the Recipe Take a couple of minutes to read through the ingredients and directions before you start to prepare a recipe. This will prevent you from discovering midway through that you don’t have an important ingredient or that a recipe requires several hours of marinating. And it’s also a good idea to assemble all ingredients and utensils within easy reach before you begin a recipe.
Weighing and Measuring The success of any recipe depends on accurate weighing and measuring. The effectiveness of the Weight Watchers program and the accuracy of the nutritional analysis depend on correct measuring as well. Use the following techniques:
• Weigh food such as meat, poultry, and fish on a food scale.
• To measure liquids, use a standard glass or plastic measuring cup placed on a level surface. For amounts less than ¼ cup, use standard measuring spoons.
• To measure dry ingredients, use metal or plastic measuring cups that come in ¼-, ¹⁄³-, ½-, and 1-cup sizes. Fill the appropriate cup and level it with the flat edge of a knife or spatula. For amounts less than ¼ cup, use standard measuring spoons.