• Welcome to Beth’s Journey!


    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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One Week In

Sorry for disappearing! I took a sick day yesterday and was just feeling too lazy to blog, or do much of anything for that matter. The day mostly consisted of laying low and ordering Chinese for dinner. I got steamed veggie dumplings and egg drop soup, and also cooked a few shrimp from my grocery excursion on Sunday so they didn’t go bad. I also read this entire book over the weekend/yesterday. I highly, highly recommend it if you have ever been in the restaurant industry, you like food, and/or you like light beach reads. It’s about this girl, Adrienne, who moves to Nantucket to work at a restaurant for the summer, and I could not put it down.

Back to work today, and back to Weight Watchers tonight! I wrote about my impressions of the Weight Watchers PointsPlus system the day after I started it, and now that I’ve been following it for a week I thought I’d update. I still really like the new program, and I definitely think its more in line with my style of eating than the old plan was. I think the fact that fruit is 0 is definitely my favorite part about the new plan, because I feel less stressed if I’m hungry – I can eat a banana, apple, or grapes no problem. Somehow carrot stick and/or celery just isn’t as satisfying for me if I’m truly hungry, so the flexibility with the fruit really helps.

Also, I love that the daily points target is higher, even though a lot of foods have higher PointsPlus values than they used to. Having so many more points to work with makes me feel less limited, which was part of the problem with the old system for me. I feel like I have a lot more flexibility with this new program and that I’m not being punished by choosing whole foods because their points values are higher than the processed fat-free/sugar-free stuff, but rather encouraged to eat more unprocessed food.

I think as someone who has struggled with my weight for my entire life, and still continues to, I really need the accountability factor that Weight Watchers gives me. Knowing that I am going to weigh in tonight stopped me from ordering fried tofu last night at delivery, but didn’t stop me from having some tasting some chocolate covered peanut brittle we got from Southern VA. I’ll let you know how weigh in goes tonight tomorrow morning.

After weigh in, I have a mini holiday celebration with three of my best girlfriends – Lianne, Jess, and Rachel. We’re doing it potluck style, and I realized last night I needed to whip something up. I was pretty beat and not really in the mood to go to the store, so I wanted to make do with what I had.

Enter.. Veggie Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Dressing.

BJTT 064

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup pico de gallo

To start, rinse the dried quinoa, and add it to a pot with 2 cups water. (Ratio is 1 part quinoa: 2 parts water, so you can adjust the recipe accordingly). Bring it to a boil, and then cover and bring it down to a simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup each black beans, corn, and edamame in a large bowl.

BJTT 042

Add in pico de gallo and cilantro, and mix to combine.

BJTT 056

Next, assemble your dressing.

BJTT 045

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add dressing to veggie mixture, and stir in quinoa once its done cooking.

BJTT 061

20 minutes and its done. It tastes really great, too. The sweetness from the honey and acidity from the lime are a perfect balance in the dressing and really tie everything together. The beauty of a dish like this is that you can use any vegetables, herbs, or grains you have on hand and change it accordingly. You can add in chicken or feta for an extra protein boost, or double up the amount of beans if you like. For 8 servings, this dish has 5 PointsPlus values each. It can easily be more than 8 servings, or 4 huge servings that can serve as a full meal.

What are some dishes you have come up with using mostly ingredients from your pantry/freezer?

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25 Responses

  1. I have researched the new WW program and I think it’s a great step forward. It not only focuses on weight loss, but simple health and good nutrition too!

  2. I’m still on the fence about joining WW but have heard so much about it. Maybe it is just me denying the fact that I cannot believe, after 3 years, I am STILL struggling?! UGH… onto better things.

    That book looks good! Can I borrow it?

    • I’ve kind of accepted that I just need to realize that I will have to deal with my weight issues for the rest of my life. I rejoined WW so I can hopefully become lifetime, and the weighing in once a month thing should help keep me on track long term. Hopefully. 🙂

      And of course you can borrow it!

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Have you noticed on Weight Watchers vegetables in recipes sill contribute toward the PointPlus values. If I read this right, vegies are not “0” when used in recipes. See #8 of “15 Essentials” document from WW.
    http://tinyurl.com/27ozcmm

    • Hi! I’m actually Beth 🙂 And yes, veggies aren’t necessarily 0 when in recipes, but if you use e-tools you can plug everything in to the recipe builder to get the points value for a recipe. Corn and edamame aren’t 0 even if they’re not in recipes, but I did plug everything into the recipe builder for this one, so 5 is the true Points+ Value. Thanks for linking to the article though – thats a good refresher!

  4. Thanks Beth. Love your blog.

  5. I keep my freezer pretty much stocked with frozen veggies and such, so I often get a lot of my soup and salad mix-ins from there…

    Love that you’re doing well with the new system so far! 🙂

  6. Thats for keeping us updated on WW. I think I am going to join next week. I would love to get to lifetime this time around!

    My favorite pantry meal is chili.. a can of beans, can of tomatoes and a can of corn and you have yourself a meal! Also love to add fresh peppers when I have them.

  7. I joined WW for the first time on December 9, 2010, so I just have to learn PointsPlus and not worry about the old system. I’d love to become a lifetime member too. I have about 56 pounds to loose. Last week I lost 3.

    Love this recipe except that I’m giving up sugar. Is there something to use in place of the honey?

    • You don’t have to use honey but then it wont be a salad with honey-lime dressing :).

      I make vinaigrettes a lot of times with just vinegar, mustard, garlic or shallot, salt, pepper, and evoo. You could easily make this more savory by omitting the honey and adding a dollop of mustard instead.

  8. Sorry you weren’t feeling well! It’s definitely going around.

    My favorite pantry meal is making soup. Canned veggies, canned beans, chicken broth and then whatever I have in the fridge/freezer. Perfect!

  9. Your quinoa salad looks delicious! I like to buy frozen edamame. It’s really fast to cook and it’s so healthy and delicious. Sometimes I mix it with other veggies, but I like to eat it plain with some sea salt.

  10. That salad looks dank! (That’s jessica talk for amazing).

    Points+ is becomming a fail for me. I ate a pound of strawberries last night.

    Onward and upward!

    • yeah im trying to be mindful of not eating an exorbitant amount of fruit, but 3 or so pieces a day is fine for me. We’ll see how WI goes tonight!

  11. what a delightful quinoa dish!!!!

  12. Um wow – that quinoa looks bomb. I seriously need to make more time in the day for homecooking because I see way to many things I want to make way too often!

  13. Great looking dish! Very yummy.

    I agree that WW this time around is so much less stressful and I feel more empowered to make right decisions. Glad to hear things are going well. 🙂

    Hope you are feeling better!

  14. That looks like a great salad.

    When we make chili or pasta with stuff we have on hand. Always a stand-by. We pretty much have enough rice, pasta and canned beans to get creative.

    🙂

  15. I really like the new WW points plus system way better than the old way. I ended up quitting last time because I was sick of being penalized for wanting to eat whole foods instead of fat free/sugar free stuff all the time.

    LOVE the salad!!!

    jen

  16. […] One Week In […]

  17. This looks absolutely amazing… I’m definitely going to have to make this! Never eaten most of these ingredients before, but hey – something new every day :).

  18. […] Quinoa is an awesome grain because it’s packed with protein and extremely versatile. I normally get it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods where its 3.99 a pound, and I can decide how much to get rather than buying the prepacked kind. To cook it, you use 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water, and bring it to a boil and then a simmer, and cook it until the water is absorbed – about 15 minutes. One of my favorite recipes of the year is my Quinoa Burgers, followed closely by the veggie quinoa salad with honey lime dressing. […]

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