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  1. Last night I was craving gyros.... but instead of spending the 15 points on the real thing, I decided to try something at home. I was pretty darn impressed with the results, for just randomly throwing them together.... 1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 Tbsp Worchester sauce 1 Tbsp dried parsley 1 tsp coriander seed, crushed 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste) salt and black pepper, to taste. Mix ingredients together well, and form 6 into small, rectangular patties (I was trying to approximate the shape of gyro meat). Cook in a nonstick pan on the stovetop until desired doneness. Split up meat between 3 small whole wheat pitas. Add thin-sliced cucumber and tomatoes, shreadded lettuce and sliced onions. 4 points/pita. I also served it with some store-bought tzatziki thinned out with nonfat plain yogurt. WW says that tzatziki is 1 point for 1/2 cup, but this stuff was more like 2 points. Enjoy!
  2. Thanks for the kind comments, everyone! I know how much the photo gallery has helped me... glad to see it's that way for others, too!
  3. My weight loss has really slowed recently, and was feeling like I needed a little bit of inspiration to get it kick started... This picture reminds me of how far I've come! On the left, graduation week from college, on the right, in the dress I bought for my Master's graduation!
  4. From the NYT last week, but w/ a few adjustments to oil and fried bits, and doubling of most of the spices for an extra kick. A good, hearty and vegan meal. I've been eating it all week! Spicy Peanut Stew with Ginger and Tomato POINTS® value | 6 Servings | 8 Main Meals | Ingredients I medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 5 cups) 1 tsp table salt 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 3 Tbsp olive oil 3 Tbsp ginger root (about 2 inches, peeled and minced) 2 small jalapeno chilis, seeded and minced 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cup) 1/3 cup canned tomato paste 14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes 4 cups vegetable broth 1/2 cup peanut butter 8 oz zucchini 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup chopped cilantro 4 cups cooked brown rice Instructions 1. In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt; set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne; set aside. 2. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil, add eggplant. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to another bowl 3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger and chilies and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add onion and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. 4. Add diced tomatoes, stock, eggplant, and a sprinkling of salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl, add one or two ladlefuls of hot soup, and stir until emulsified, then pour mixture back into soup. 5. Reduce heat to a simmer, add zucchini, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with 1/2 cup rice, garnished with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.
  5. I found this on epicurious, and tweaked it a little. Next time, I'll add spinach, as well, for more vitamins. It was delicious! Moroccan Chickpea Soup POINTS® value per serving | 5 Servings | 8 Soups | Ingredients 35 oz canned tomatoes 1 chopped onion 2 miced garlic clove(s) 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 2 tsp black pepper 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 2/3 cup cilantro 4 cup fat-free chicken broth 1/2 cup parsley 28 oz (2 cans) canned chickpeas 1 cup dry lentils Instructions Coarsely purée tomatoes in a food processor. Cook onion, garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Add turmeric, pepper, cumin, and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in tomato purée, 1/3 cup cilantro, chickpeas (including liquid), chicken broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 1/3 cup cilantro, and salt to taste. Makes 8 servings.
  6. Maybe someday I'll figure out how to post pictures right! I changed the link, and if that doesn't work, the URL should... I think!
  7. So, I was goofing around tonight, and decided to pull out a dress that I wore to my little sister's graduation in May... the difference is pretty exciting. This isn't even the worst picture I have from that weekend for comparison! If that doesn't work: http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p42/losingnika/untitled.jpg
  8. NikaD

    50 pounds down!

    Okay, I reposted the link in the original post above, because it looks like it wasn't working. I added a second pic of 60 pounds down (20 on WW), too.
  9. I've tried all the patties out there, I think... being in school means that I don't have a ton of time to cook during the week. I'm not a Boca fan... In general, things that try to be beef= yuck, yuck, yuck! Traditional Gardenburgers are really tasty, though hard to find these days. Morningstar Spicy Black Bean and Tomato Basil Pizza Burgers are really yummy popped in the toaster then cut up in a salad. I also like the Morningstar Chix patties a lot. They most resemble an actual meat product of any of these I've mentioned... probably b/c the processed chicken that goes into breaded chicken sandwiches is so gnarley in the first place!
  10. Oh, man, buddies. This product is TERRIBLE! When I saw this at the grocery story I was psyched, because it said that it had 7g protien and 6g fiber per serving... one packet of normal instant oatmeal has only 2-3g of each and is never enough to fill me up, so I jumped on it. The fact that it had a similar amount of calories as a normal oatmeal seemed like a miracle. It looked like regular oatmeal. It had a yummy maple/brown sugar smell like regular oatmeal. But, my friends, there is nothing regular about the taste. The upside: I didn't want to eat any more after one packet. Whether this was because I was sustained by the increased nutrition, or turned off by the unsavory splenda/protien powder flavor, we'll never know. I'm not going to try it again to try to tease it out!
  11. Glad people like them! I got mine at Trader Joe's, and they were under a dollar a piece. Yay!
  12. I lost quite a bit on my own a couple of years ago, and after some bouncing around and frustration in the last year, I joined WW and the last 11 pounds of my first 50 are gone! I still have quite a ways to go before I reach my final goal, but looking at the difference between my HW and now is good motivation. Thought I'd share, because seeing others' pics has really helped me! http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p42/losingnika/?action=view&current=Progress.jpg
  13. The chocolate toucans are one of my new favorite products. Paired with a glass of milk in the evening, it's a great treat!
  14. Successfully working full time, going to school at night, AND trying to be healthy certainly should lead to a degree in time managment! The meal bars are a help with staying on point... getting up earlier to exercise in the morning (before 8 hours of work followed by 2 hours of class) is the next challenge!
  15. This semester, I have grad school classes from 6-8 pm twice a week. Eating dinner beforehand isn't attractive, cause I go straight there after work... packing all 3 meals to haul with me sounds like too much of a pain. Enter the Balance 100 Calorie Snack bar! I've tried 2 flavors so far: Chocolate Caramel Crisp and Peanut Butter Crisp, and I will definitely continue to buy them. It pretty much tasted like a candy bar (though maybe I haven't had one in so long that I've forgotten what they're really like!). There's apparently also a Vanilla Caramel Crisp one, but Trader Joe's didn't have it this time. The bar consists of a bed of crispy rice, a gooey filling layer, and then the outer coating... chocolate or peanut butter. Each bar has 5 g Fiber and 6 g protien, so I wasn't starving by the time I actually got to eat dinner. My old standby, the Pria 110 bars, had only 1 g fiber and 5 g protien... though they're both 2 points. Compared to the Pria, the Balance Snack Bars were both more filling and felt like more of a treat. A good find!
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