Category Archives: Recipes

Jen’s Annual Fat Tuesday Dinner

I make this dish every year…mostly because it’s one of the handful of meals that I am able to make well and taste good.

You can enjoy it too, this year! Continue reading Jen’s Annual Fat Tuesday Dinner


The Turmeric Trick

I realized recently that maybe I do know a thing or two about this distance running thing.

I mean, I’ve been participating in marathons and ultra marathons for eight years now, never taking a season off. I’ve fundraised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program to find a cure for blood cancer through six marathons and some cycle rides. Then add the 20+ ultra marathons of 31+ miles, including the recent 100-mile ultra that I completed a few months ago.

Continue reading The Turmeric Trick

Reduced Guilt Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie is my FAVORITE dessert this time of the year.  Back when I wasn’t very aware of my weight, nor did I care, my grandmother would often bring me a pumpkin pie every couple of weeks from her favorite bakery when she came to visit.  For a short time, I lived with her, and she made sure to have pumpkin pie in the fridge at all times.


Above is a picture of the infamous pumpkin pie from Weber’s Bakery on the southwest side of Chicago.

Being a Weight Watcher since 2010, I have at least become slightly more conscious of the amount of calories that I put into my body.  Yes, I understand that many times I will substitute natural ingredients for the low-cal processed alternative, and many people aren’t willing to make that swap.  For those of you who don’t have a preference to those products, but prefer low calorie (or low Points Plus Value) options, here is a great alternative!


  • 3/4 cup Splenda no calorie sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large egg whites (1/3 cup of egg whites from container)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin (Libby’s, Trader Joe’s, etc…)
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Fat Free Evaporated (Condensed) Milk
  • unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell


Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.  Beat eggs in large bowl.
Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.
Gradually stir in evaporated milk.  Pour into pie shell.

The original recipe from Very Best Baking states to bake the following (this is using sugar, egg whites and regular evaporated milk):

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


As you can see from my first attempt at this with Splenda, egg whites and fat free evaporated milk, the baking time was a bit long.  Isn’t that a lovely “sun spot” on my pie?  I would suggest very much keeping an eye on this, or even starting the pie from the beginning at 350°.

So here is the big, amazing part of this take on the pumpkin pie…

1/6 pie = 6 PPV


1/8 pie = 4 PPV

I would say, as long as you don’t burn it, this is TOTALLY worth it!

Power Packed Whole Wheat Pancakes


I’ve been on a pancake kick lately, and if you are anything like me, you are looking for a way to maximize nutrition without sacrificing the taste.  I came across a Martha Stewart recipe online when I realized that we did not have enough quick pancake mix for the family a couple of weeks back.  I used it as a blueprint, but changed virtually everything to make them uber delicious and less threatening to my waistline.  Here is what I came up with…enjoy!

1 c. Whole Wheat Flour

2 tbsp. No-Calorie Sweetener (like Splenda)

2 tsp. Baking POWDER

1/2 tsp. Table Salt

3 tbsp. No-Sugar Added Applesauce

1 Large Egg WHITE

1 cup Fat Free/Skim Milk

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Mix together in a medium sized mixing bowl until well blended.  I then put this back into my 2 cup measuring cup to pour it onto a griddle that has been warmed to 375° (After the first round of pancakes, I pull the heat back to 350°).  Wait until the pancakes stop bubbling before turning them over.

Mix yields 6-7 pancakes.  My calculations = 2 PPV per pancake.

Other ideas…slather a tsp. of peanut butter on top instead of syrup with some bananas to get those power packed foods and extra protein.  I also sometimes add cinnamon, clove, ginger…anything to give them some spice. Weight Watchers Recipe – Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

This was a pretty amazing meal! I played with the recipe just a little bit, and changed it. Since I was missing ricotta cheese, I substituted an extra egg white into the recipe. I also decided to put half of a sweet red pepper into the mix to add some flavor. I have to say, that both worked, and this lowered the points value per serving.  The oregano made this taste slightly Italian, so much that my sister asserted that it reminded her of a healthier pizza. Weight Watchers Recipe – Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche.