Part I: Weight Watching
We’ve given up. We went to Weight Watchers yesterday.
It’s a sad day for the house that loves guanciale, and butter, and pasta, and roasting a chicken just so we can eat the skin. But we really have no choice. I am 7 pounds over what is considered a maximum healthy weight for my height, and Fred–well, he’s a little more than that.
Our mission now will be to create dishes that will keep us within our daily points allowance but won’t completely compromise our food integrity. This means none of the glue-like substances that some marketers try to pass off as food, like fat-free cream cheese and mayonnaise. I don’t think we can take that. But we can certainly eat a heck of a lot more vegetables, and probably much smaller portions of the things we love.
I am also delighted to report that a Bloody Mary is only 3 points, but just 2 if you use only a splash of tomato juice.
Tonight, we cooked the last of the guanciale in a pasta dish. We just ate less of it and more of the broccoli I fixed to go with it. A colleague offered the following preparation for the broccoli, which turned out to be quite good.
Cut up two heads of broccoli. Toss in 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil and salt it to within an inch of its life. Roast in a shallow pan at 400 degrees until just beginning to brown, about 10 – 15 minutes.
“It’s just like popcorn,” my co-worker told me, and it’s pretty darn close.
II. And Then There’s the Fish Salad
I have also been meaning to talk about the spectacular fish salad I created last week with some leftover broiled triggerfish. Unfortunately its next iteration will probably have to wait until after the Weight Watchers project is over, or until I have not eaten for several days.
This is a great way to use leftover broiled, poached, or grilled fish. Since you don’t have to re-heat it, you don’t risk the overcooking that usually renders leftover fish dry and nearly inedible.
The recipe would work well with any white fish that you typically cook through rather than serve rare. If you have a leftover piece that is rare (like salmon or tuna), you might want to broil or poach it for a minute or two before making the salad.
Fish Salad (makes about 2 cups)
1 piece cooked fish (about 4 oz.), bones removed if necessary, chopped fine
2 – 3 carrots, peeled and minced
2- 3 stalks celery, minced
1 small sweet onion (Vidalia or other mild variety), minced
1/2 cup peas, cooked until just tender, drained (pour cold water over peas to stop cooking)
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or more to taste
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Serve with crackers or with a sandwich. Don’t count the Weight Watchers points.