Thursday, March 15, 2012

WeightWatchers and Baked Ziti

For those that have followed this blog back when it was “No One Said It Was Easy” and “Life As I See It” know that I’ve struggled with weight loss.

I dropped 50 lbs like it was nobody’s business as I trained for half marathons, then plateaued. For over a year. I tried many, many things and nothing really clicked…until now.

I did the count-calories thing. I did the 5 small meals thing. Did the gluten free thing. Did the low carb thing. Seriously – I’ve done almost all of it. Didn’t matter if I trained for half marathons, did boot camps, or sat on the couch – nothing was working. So, about 3 weeks ago, I thought “what the hell – I’m going weightwatchers (WW). Would could it hurt?”

Lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks and I have a weigh in on Friday. So far – it’s working.

What I’ve learned so far is that you can have what you want IN MODERATION. I can honestly say that I have not starved myself. I have not deprived myself. I have not been left feeling like I was going without. I drink beer, even have had ice cream, have had pasta – and I’ve stilled lost weight.

You see – with WW it’s supposed to be a plan that you stick with your entire life. If you love pasta – how in the hell are you supposed to live your entire life without eating it? You do the low card thing until you lose the weight, then incorporate the pasta, and gain it back. WW is all about enjoying the things you like in moderation.

Anyway – don’t want to sound like I know it all, because I don’t. I just started WW and that’s what I’ve picked up on so far. The cool thing is, I’m eating so many awesome things. Things I thought I had to stay away from if I wanted to lose weight.

Stay tuned…I love to cook and am excited to turn the classics into low point options for weight loss! If you’re on WW too – give me a shout and share your recipes/experiences!

Baked Ziti (Rotini) – I couldn’t find Ziti, so I bought Rotini (the shape really doesn’t matter as long as it’s the same amount of pasta)

Servings – 8
Points per serving – 7*

2 tsp olive oil
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup(s) (shredded) part-skim mozzarella cheese
12 oz (dry) Smart Taste - Smart Taste Rotini
1 pound(s) cooked 95% lean ground beef


Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks, about 3 to 5 minutes; drain off any fat and set pan back over medium heat. Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper; stir to coat beef. Cook until herbs become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon a small amount of beef-tomato mixture into bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish (just enough to cover surface); top with half of cooked ziti. Next, layer with half of remaining beef-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining ziti and then top with remaining beef-tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

* Points based on the WeightWatchers Recipe Builder tool.

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