Posts Tagged ‘Weight Watchers’

You’re going to have to trust me on this one and try this. Don’t think about, just do it. Forget the fact that bulgar rhymes with vulgar. Forget that it’s a whole grain and 1 cup of it contains more energy and nutrients than the grains you consume in an entire day. Forget that you are going to find this in the organic or natural food aisle of your local grocery store. Forget that this is a staple of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine where people eat healthier and live longer. This is good stuff all the way around.

I was introduced to bulgar through the Power Foods cookbook put out by Weight Watchers. No, I myself am not a Weight Watchers member, but I was cooking with a friend of mine who had this cookbook. I found the cookbook itself to be really good and the recipes inside introduced me to healthy ways of incorporating a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spices into my everyday cooking. The idea behind the Power Foods cookbook is to eat more meals that contain power foods which fill you up faster and take longer to digest so that you don’t go back an hour or two later to consume more.

This bulgar pilaf combines the sweetness of golden raisins with the light, nutty taste of bulgar complimented by various spices used through the Middle East. I strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try as a side to your next dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2c chicken stock
  • 1 1/2c medium, quick-cooking bulgar
  • 1/2c golden raisins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

1. In a medium sauce pot, place 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Place the onions in the pan and sauté until nearly translucent. Add the garlic and combine until the garlic is fragrant.

2. Add the spices to the pan. Combine with the onions and garlic and cook until the spices are fragrant. Add the chicken stock to the pan and turn up the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Add the bulgar and raisins to the pan, cover with a tight lid, and turn off the heat.

3. Allow the bulgar to sit for 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.

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Why kid ourselves? Fried things are delicious and have been for centuries.  But everytime I read an article about health conscious people or doctors trying to scare the world into succumbing to a non-fried, non-carb, all vegan diet, I can’t help but wonder why no one is talking about the concept of moderation. In fact, in the ten years that I’ve really researched food and diet, Weight Watchers is the only organization that makes any attempt to teach people how to make better eating decisions instead of completely cutting out an entire portion of the food pyramid.

From where I sit, it’s relatively simple. If you eat fried foods consistently and make it a staple at your work lunches and last minute dinners, you’re body is not going to react well and you are putting yourself at risk for major health problems. But is there anything wrong with enjoying a fried meal once a week especially if it contains healthier ingredients? I say no. So in that respect, I submit for you a cornmeal based vegetarian fritter that is incredibly easy to prepare and sure to appease most anyone that sits at your dinner table.

Ingredients

  • 1 c packed zucchini, grated
  • 1 c frozen corn kernals (can use fresh off the cob, never canned)
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/4 c white onion, minced
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil, for frying

1. Heat some olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place the corn, zucchini, thyme, and onion in the sauté pan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the pan off the heat and let cool.

2. Combine the flour, muffin mix, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

3. Mix the egg and milk together and pour into the dry mix. Whisk until just combine. Fold in the sauteed vegetables and cilantro. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

     

Note: The batter will be lumpy. This is normal and should be ignored. If you whisk the batter too much, you will develop more gluten and your fritters will be dense. Dense = bad.

4. Heat 2″ worth of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When the oil has come up to temperature (around 325 degrees), drop a heaping tablespoon of batter into the oil. Repeat until the pan is full but the fritters are not touching.

     

Note: Work in batches. Don’t try to overcrowd the oil. Not only will too much batter lower the temperature of the oil, but your fritters will stick together.

5. When golden brown, flip the fritters over and finish cooking. Set the fritters on some paper towels to drain.

     

Note: To keep fritters warm between batches, set the oven to 200 degrees and place fritters on a sheet pan.

6. Serve fritters alone or with a dipping sauce.

Note: I’m serving these fritters with a spicy remoulade sauce.