Sunday, November 9, 2008

Turkey Chili

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

Wow! I have been away too long and I'm sorry about that. I've been busy with Grand Jury duty (over, finally!) and getting ready for my honeymoon which has now been postponed a week. So now I find myself with too much time on my hands! I weighed in yesterday and after 10 weeks I have now lost 22 pounds! I'm loving Jenny Craig and can't believe how far I've come in just a short amount of time.

I am a huge chili fan but I don't eat it very often. It's hard for me to stop at just one bowl! I was excited to try the Turkey Chili from JC even if it was a shelf stable food. As usual, especially with the shelf stable stuff, I needed to try to not only volumize but add a little more flavor to it. Here is what I did

Turkey Chili
1 JC Turkey Chili entree
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1, 14 oz can of plum tomatoes (chopped tomatoes)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
freshly ground pepper to taste
reduced fat cheddar cheese
fat free sour cream

In a medium non stick sauce pan saute the garlic and onion in PAM until translucent and fragrant over medium heat. Add the chopped tomatoes and the liquid from the can as well as the spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Add the JC Turkey Chili entree and mix well. Simmer another 5-10 minutes. Pour chili into a bowl and top with reduced fat cheddar cheese and fat free sour cream.

How much have YOU lost on Jenny Craig?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spaghetti with Meatballs

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

So, pretty much everybody on the JC Forums have been raving about the new Spaghetti with Meatballs. With the great reviews I just had to try it and I was not disappointed. But of course, I had to volumize my spaghetti to make it even better and this is what I came up with.

Spaghetti with Meatballs
1 JC Spaghett with Meatballs dinner (defrosted)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced (you could substitute onions instead if you prefer)
crushed red pepper, optional
2 T tomato paste
2 portobellini mushrooms, diced
1 handfull of cherry tomatoes, halved
dash of red wine vinegar
4 large basil leaves, chopped

Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium heat and spray with PAM. Add garlic and shallots and saute until fragrant. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and saute an additional minute. Add tomato paste to a hot spot in the pan and cook about a minute then mix the garlic, shallot and crushed red pepper into the tomato paste. Add mushroom and tomatoes and stir well to combine. Cook until the mushrooms have browned and the tomatoes are tender. Add the Spaghetti with Meatballs dinner and mix all ingredients well. Add a dash of the vinegar, reduce heat to low and simmer about 2-3 minutes so the flavors combine and the meatballs heat through. Pour into a wide bowl and top with chopped basil. I added 2 T of freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, that I saved from my menu at lunch.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jenny's BBQ Chicken Pizza

From Jenny Craig Gourmet
On the Jenny Craig Forums a lot of people don't have very good luck with the JC pizzas and therefore end up not ordering them. I'd like to share my tips with you for making the JC pizzas and they end up pretty darn good!

First, I like to thaw my pizza on the counter a good 2-3 hours prior to cooking. This will help it cook better without getting soggy. Also, you can rearrange the topping easier. I've found that the toppings tend be heavy on one side of the pizza when you remove it from the package. Also if there are large chunks of chicken for instance, I'll tear them up and spread them about evenly.

Second, if you can, use a Pizza Stone! I keep one in my oven at all times. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with the pizza stone inside.

Third, add extra toppings! I added more purple onions and a couple of sliced mushrooms to the top of my pizza. I also saved a fat for the day and added some extra reduced fat mozzarella cheese to the top, over the toppings I'd added.

Finally, when the oven is preheated, place the pizza on the pizza stone and cook for about 25 minutes. Look for the cheese to be browned on top as ovens may vary. The most important part is to let the pizza rest for about 5 minutes after you remove it from the oven. This will allow the crust to firm up and prevent the cheese and toppings from sliding off when you cut the pizza. Then just cut and serve.

I hope this helps others enjoy the JC pizzas as much as I have because this girl can't live without her pizza!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cake

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I can't live without chocolate. I love it and could eat it every day. Obviously that is not an option if I want to lose weight and keep it off. I am so glad that Jenny Craig allows us to have things like chocolate cake, cheesecake and brownies in moderation and reasonable portion sizes. It's a great lesson that you can have your cake and eat it too! My favorite combination is chocolate and raspberries so when I got the Double Chocolate Cake on my menu the second time around, I also stopped at the grocery store for a container of fresh raspberries. This is also a great way to get in a fruit serving!

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cake
1 JC Double Chocolate Cake
1 container of raspberries
2 T sugar free cool whip (limited free)
zest of half a lemon
1 pkg of splenda or other sweetener
1 tsp water

Heat a small non stick pan over medium heat and add the raspberries (reserve about 6 raspberries for the cake), splenda and water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the raspberries have broken down and you have a nice sauce. Add the lemon zest.

Meanwhile, slice the reserved raspberries in half. Slice the chocolate cake in half horizontally and spread 1 T of the cool whip on the bottom slice of cake then top with the sliced raspberries. Spread the other tablespoon of cool whip on the bottom of the the top slice of cake and place on top of the raspberries. Top the cake with the raspberry sauce and serve.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coleslaw with a side of Fish 'N Chips

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

I LOVE Fish and Chips and nothing goes better with it than a nice portion of cole slaw. I heat my Fish and Chips from Jenny in the oven according to the package directions after spraying the fish and chips with some PAM and sprinkling my chips with some Emeril's seasoning (seasoned fries, anyone?). Here is my recipe for coleslaw. Make this well in advance and allow it to rest in the fridge until dinner time.

1/2 bag of coleslaw mix
1/2 carrot, grated
1 small radish, grated
1 small jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, and diced (optional)
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 T FF mayo
1-2 T apple cider vinegar
dash of salt and pepper
dash of celery seeds

Combine the coleslaw mix, carrot, radish, jalapeno and cilantro in a bowl. In a separate small bowl combine the mayo, vinegar (add a little at a time, salt, pepper, and celery seeds. Whisk mixture to combine and add more vinegar, tasting as you go until you reach the desired acidity. Add mixture to the coleslaw mix and combine well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the flavors to combine. Serve with JC Fish and Chips.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


From Jenny Craig Gourmet

I found a beautiful recipe for peperonata in the Williams Sonoma catalog. It looked so good but it called for 1/4 Cup of olive oil so I decided to modify the recipe to serve alongside my Jenny Craig meals. Well it turned out so good that I eat this several times a week and I've even topped my chicken sandwich with it. It is delicious! So good, even my husband takes a plateful when I make it.

2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
2 peppers (I like to use red and orange), remove the seeds and ribs and slice into thin strips
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
1 tsp capers, optional
2-3 T red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 T basil, cut into strips

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and spray with PAM. Add the onions and saute until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute and additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the peppers, tomatoes, capers, red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and simmmer about 30 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve.

This tastes so good you would not believe there isn't any oil in it. The flavors really pop and I could eat this by the bowlful!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Kraft Light Balsamic Vinaigrette

I found a great dressing that I wanted to share with all of you. I was cruising the aisles at my local Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and found this in the dressing aisle:

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

This package of 8, 1 oz dressings was $2.99. Each packet has only 25 calories, compared to 50 calories in the Jenny's Dressing packets! They also only have 3 g of carbs compared to 5 g of carbs in the Jenny's Dressing. I really enjoy the flavor too and its even better knowing I'm saving 25 calories.

I did find some information on the Kraft website here about halfway down the page. It says they have a Zesty Italian. I purchased the Balsamic and my store had Ranch as well.

What great products have you found to use on your Jenny program?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken Carbonara with Zucchini and Mushrooms

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

I really enjoy the pasta dishes on JC and I love to volumize them as much as I can. I like one dish meals and this one turned out exceptionally well as well as leaving me full and satisfied.

Chicken Carbonara:
1 Chicken Carbonara dinner (slightly defrosted)
1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 portobellini mushroom, diced
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
2 Tablespoons NF milk
freshly ground pepper

Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat and spray with PAM. Add zucchini and saute about 3-4 minutes then add the mushrooms. Add the Chicken Carbonara along with the seasonings. Stir well and cook several minutes until chicken carbonara is heated through and then add milk. The milk will make the dish a little creamier. Mix the milk in well and reduce heat to medium low so the milk reduces and then thickens the sauce. Pour into a dish and add freshly ground pepper. A garnish of freshly chopped basil would make this even better!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Carrot Fries

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

What do you do when it's 4 o'clock, you are starving and dinner isn't for another 2 hours? Make carrot fries! That's what I've been doing the past few days. I read about these on the Jenny Craig Forums and I was definitely intrigued...and did I say, hungry???

4 pm has traditionally been my snack time. I've usually just gotten home from work and I have a habit of snacking - probably one of the reasons I ended up where I'm at weight wise. So I had to find a way to get a little snacking in without violating the "diet" (I put that in quotes because I'm really not thinking of this as a diet but a lifestyle change. Diet means there is an end point. I can't stop eating this way because I know I'll gain every pound back and then some). When I read about these carrot fries I couldn't wait to try them. And I've made them nearly every day since. My husband even thinks they're great!

Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Peel the skin off of about 3-4 carrots and cut into french fry size pieces. Pile them on a cookie sheet and spray with PAM. Mix them up well to coat with the PAM and then arrange them flat on the sheet. Put them in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Toss them about every 15-20 minutes so they cook evenly. When done (I like mine a little crispy) remove from oven and put them in a bowl. I put a little freshly ground sea salt on them. YUM!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breakfast Scramble, kicked up a notch

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

With all my JC food, I try to limit my use of the microwave. I use it to defrost some of the food items or if I'm at work, to heat up my lunches. Otherwise, I find the microwave, especially mine, overcooks things or leaves things a little to soggy for my taste (for example the French Toast - I put mine in the toaster!). When I come home from work I pull out my dinner and leave it on the counter for a couple of hours to defrost, that way I can just throw it in the pan with whatever veggies I'm making for that night and have a big one dish meal.

My breakfast today consisted of:
Breakfast Scramble
1 Fruit
1 cup nonfat Milk

I decided to volumize the scramble a bit by adding one portobellini mushroom, cut into bite size pieces. Have you tried these yet? Size wise they are in between the size of a crimini and a portobello. Perfect for portioning out!

What I'm sharing here isn't really a recipe, but more of a method. I defrosted the scramble in the microwave for 2 minutes on 30% power. Then I heated up a nonstick skillet and added the scramble and some PAM to coat. I covered the pan and let it sit for about 5 minutes on Medium to heat everything through. Then I removed the cover and added the mushrooms, 1 tsp of Italian Seasoning, a pinch of red pepper flakes and few dashes of Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce. Stir everything together well and let the mushrooms cook for about 2-3 minutes. Pour the mixture onto a plate and enjoy!

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

Admittedly, this isn't the most colorful of dishes. Next time I'd probably add some chopped red pepper and some chopped basil as a garnish to make it more visually appealing.

I serve most of my JC food on my salad plates. Its more of an appropriate portion size for me and I like to see a full plate of food!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Roasted Green Chili Chicken Sandwich

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

I am currently eating off of the preplanned menus. For me it is easier knowing that my whole day is planned out calorically. Today's lunch, according to my menu is:

Chicken Sandwich
Spinach Salad
Jenny's Dressing (50 cal)
2 Tbl Parmesan Cheese (42 cal)

Now, here is what I did to mix things up a bit while staying within the calories (and actually a little under).

Roasted Green Chile Chicken Sandwich
1 green chile
1 Jenny Craig Chicken Sandwich (discard the Creole Mustard dressing or save for another use)
1 roma tomato cut into thick slices
2 small pieces of romaine lettuce
a few thin slices of onion
1 Babybel Light cheese, cut into 3 thin slices (50 cal - I am substituting this for the parmesan. It's 8 calories more but I'm making up the difference with not using the Jenny's Dressing - more on that later)
2 Tbl FF Sour Cream (20 cal)
Chili Powder to taste
PAM Professional

Heat up your grill to high heat.

Roast the green chile on the grill until it is almost completely blackened on all sides (it should look like the picture below) and place in a ziploc bag for about 5 minutes. This will loosen the skin so it will scrape off easily.

From Jenny Craig Gourmet

Remove the chicken and bun from the packaging. Defrost chicken in microwave for 90 seconds on low power. Remove chicken and season with chili powder then spray with PAM. Spray the inside surface of the bun with PAM as well and place the bun and chicken on the grill. Watch the bun closely so it does not burn and remove when toasted to your preference. Heat the chicken through on the grill, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile combine 2 Tbl Fat Free Sour Cream with 1 tsp or so of Chili Powder or to taste. I like things SPICY! Mix well and set aside.

Remove the chile from the ziploc bag and scrape the charred skin off with a knife or your fingers. Cut off the stem, then cut lengthwise and remove the seeds. Slice green chile into pieces that will fit on the sandwich.

Now, it's time to assemble. I used about 1 tsp of the sour cream mixture on each bun (2 tsp total = ~7 cal) then added the 3 thin slices of cheese to the bottom bun. Top with lettuce, onion, tomato then the chicken. Add a couple green chile slices to the top of the chicken and finish with the top bun.

I ate my sandwich with a spinach salad with diced tomato, freshly ground pepper and a few tsps of my favorite Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette (2 T = 5 Cal, 1 g Carbs).

So whats the damage? My substitutions added up to 62 calories (not including the chicken sandwich of course) vs. the 92 calories had I eaten the Jenny's dressing and the Parmesan Cheese. I saved 30 calories and had a filling, SPICY lunch. How do you jazz up your chicken sandwich?

What to have on hand...

I thought I'd start off by talking about the vegetables, herbs and spices I have on hand to volumize my meals while adding flavor without the calories. These are staples I always have on hand in my refrigerator and pantry so I can whip up a variety of dishes without having to run to the store.

Shredded Cabbage
Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Romaine lettuce
Mixed Greens
Tomatoes (Roma and Cherry)
Peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange, Jalepeno, Green Chile)
Sugar Snap Peas
Portobello Mushrooms

Ground Cumin
Chili Powder
Italian Seasoning
Cajun Seasoning
Hot sauces (I have a variety of my favorites like Sriracha, Gunslinger, and Marie Sharps)

Vinegars - you can add a lot of flavor to your cooking with ZERO calories
Cider Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Rice Wine Vinegar
Champagne Vinegar

Finally, I found this new PAM Professional specifically formulated for High Heat. I really like the results both on the stove top and in the oven.

With various combinations of the ingredients above you can add volume and flavor to your Jenny Craig meals or create flavorful vegetable side dishes to compliment your meal, leaving you feeling full and satisfied. No deprivation here!