Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Carb Loaded - a culture dying to eat

Please watch this short video clip and consider if you can help support this very worthy project :

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Its been a while, but I'm back!!

Sorry for the long absence!  Long story...sick relatives...long hours at work...lots of stress...and months later I have to admit I've gained quite a bit of my weight back (but not all).  How in the world will we get back on track?  While we WANTED to get back...we couldn't find our motivation...didn't have the time to plan...its crazy, huh?

Here's how I got back on track...I asked my husband to choose a number from 1 to 4.  He chose 3. I quickly went to my weekly menu pages, printed out Week 3, printed out the grocery list and recipes...and we went to the grocery store together and shopped from the list.  We also made sure we had plenty of fresh fruit and veggies for "0" points munchies.  I reviewed my blog photos for inspiration for snacks and what made us happy when we WERE on plan in the past. I feel so supercharged to do this all week!  My kitchen is well prepared!

So - April 1st is my new beginning.  I'm excited to eat from our week 3 menu as there are alot of my favorite foods on it.  I'm looking forward to my first weigh-in on the 7th.  In the meantime, this week is not without its challenges, so I'll be looking back on past posts for inspiration and ideas!

Thanks for following...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer's First Weekly Menu Posted!

Finally - I am inspired and ready to get back on program!  I have found that the best way to continue to lose weight is to have a plan, stock the house with the appropriate foods for that plan, and to stick with it.  Winging-it does not work for me...but on the contrary...puts weight back on.  So with that in mind, I put together the first of my weekly menus for summer cooking. 

I am still working on the grocery list, which I hope to have together later tonight.  Most of these recipes are new to me, so I don't have photos yet, but will do my best to take pictures of the finished product and post them as I go along.  If you don't have access to a Trader Joe's, you'll have to make a different side dish one night...but by all means, these menus are not written in stone.  If you don't like beans, you'll need to substitute sides a couple of nights, too.  The main point of these menus and the grocery lists is to take some of the planning and thinking out of the process.  There are simply days when I don't have the time or the desire to do the work - so this way I can just choose a menu, print out the grocery list (recipes, too, if you wish)...get the job done and stay on program.  I don't label which days to eat what meals because I like the freedom of choosing what to cook according to what my day is like.  If I'm going to be really busy at work, I'll choose something easy for that evening.  For the weekend, I might choose something that requires a little more creativity in the kitchen.  You get the idea.

One final note:  I had mentioned I'd probably put Grilled Pizzas on this week's menu, but forgot to do it...so if you prefer to make these instead of something on this week's menu - here is a link to a prior post, complete with photos - to help you make them!  Enjoy!

Summer's Week One Menu

Store-bought Rotisserie Chicken, sliced - over a garden salad  (Cook's night off!)

Grilled Portobello Burger with Basil Mayo - 6pp

Grilled Portobello Burger with Basil Mayo
Serves 4   Points Plus: 6

1/4 cup basil, fresh, chopped
3 Tbsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 medium portobello mushroom caps - equivalent to one pound
4 sprays olive oil cooking spray
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper (or to taste)
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
3/4 cup roasted red peppers - about 4 peices
4 slices red onion
4 lettuce leaves

Heat grill or grill pan to medium high.

In small bowl, combine basil, mayonnaise and vinegar.  Set aside

Lightly coat both sides of the mushroom caps with cooking spray; season with salt and pepper.  Grill mushroom caps over medium-high heat until just soft to the touch - about 6 minutes per side.

To serve, split rolls and toast on the grill.  Spread a heaping teaspoon of basil-mayo on top and bottom halves of the rolls.  Layer each bottom half with one lettuce leaf, red pepper, mushroom cap and onion slice.  Top with remaining half of roll and serve.

Harvest Grains Salad - 4pp

Harvest Grains Salad (from Danica's Daily website)
Servings: 6- 1/2 cup each  Points Plus: 4

1/2 bag Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend (approximately 1 1/4 cups) - boiled for 10 minutes in chicken broth to cook it - omit the butter that the packaged directions suggested.

1/2 jar chopped marinated artichokes
1/2 jar chopped sun dried tomatoes, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
Big dashes of Trader Joe's 21 Spice Salute seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper

Stir to combine and enjoy hot or cold.

Simple Garlic and Thyme Steak Marinade

Simple Garlic and Thyme Marinade

6 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup red wine
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

Smash and coarsely chop the garlic cloves.  Combine the garlic, oil, red wine and thyme leaves in a bowl or zippered bag.  Add steaks and turn to coat.  Place in refrigerator and marinate for 4 - 6 hours, turning occasionally to ensure an even marinate.

Heat the grill to medium high and oil the grates lightly.

Remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess drip off.  Discard the marinade.  Season the steaks with salt and pepper.  Grill, covered, until done to your liking.  Allow 12 -16 minutes for medium rare.

Cannellini Bean Salad - 5pp

Cannellini Bean Salad
Makes 4 (1 cup) servings  PointsPlus: 5

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced red onion
3/4 tsp dried oregano
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
Salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk together oil, vinegar, onion and oregano in a large mixing bowl.  Add cucumbers, beans and red bell pepper; toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Jicama, Tomato and Black Bean Salad - 5pp

Jicama, Tomato and Black Bean Salad
Makes 4 (1 cup) servings  PointsPlus: 5

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small jicama, peeled and chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together lime juice, garlic and cumin in large mixing bowl; slowly whisk in oil.  Add beans, jicama, tomatoes, onion and cilantro.  Toss to combine, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chipotle Tilapia Tacos - 4pp

Serves 4 (2 tacos each)  PointsPlus: 4

Citrus Cabbage Slaw:
2 cups Cabbage, fresh, shredded
¼ cup Green onions, sliced (about 6)
1 each  Orange, fresh segments
2 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
½ tsp Salt

Chipotle Yogurt Sauce:
¼ cup Chipotles in adobo sauce (about 6 peppers)
2 tsp Garlic, minced
2 cups Plain non-fat yogurt
1 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Juice of fresh lime

1 pound tilapia fillets
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, fresh, heated

Cabbage Slaw: Place all ingredients in a bowl or plastic container.  Toss until well combined.  Put in refrigerator and allow flavors to marinate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Chipotle Yogurt Sauce: Place chipotle and garlic in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until it is finely chopped.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until well combined.  Place in a glass or plastic container, cover and refrigerate.  Allow the ingredients to sit for at least 30 minutes for flavors to develop.

Broiled Tilapia:  Place filets on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Spread 2 Tbsp of Chipotle Yogurt Sauce on each filet and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes before cooking.  Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce. Turn oven on to Broil.  Place baking sheet under hot broiler and broil filets for 6-8 minutes until fish is opaque and lightly browned.  Break fish filet into chunks.

Assemble each taco:  Lay on a warm corn tortilla on a plate.  Place tilapia pieces in the center of tortilla (about 2 oz).  Spoon 2 Tbsp of the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce over the fish. Top with Citrus Cabbage Slaw.  Fold tortilla and serve.

Grilled Pork and Vegetable Skewers -4pp

Grilled Pork and Vegetable Skewers
Serves 4  PointsPlus: 4

1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 zucchini
2 plum tomatoes
12 small white mushrooms
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Spray grill rack with non-stick spray.  Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Cut pork into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Cut zucchini into 1 1/2 inch peices.  Quarter each tomato.  Thread pork, mushrooms, zucchini and tomatoes alternately on 4 metal (12-inch) skewers.  If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers for at least 15 minutes prior to assembling them to avoid burning on the grill.  Sprinkle assembled skewers with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Spray kebabs with nonstick spray.

Place kebabs on grill, turning every 2 minutes until cooked through (approximately 6-7 minutes total).

Red Leaf, Avocado and Apple Salad - 2pp

Red Leaf, Avocado and Apple Salad
Makes 4 (2 cup) servings   PointsPlus: 2

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp coarse-grained Dijon mustard
1 (1 pound) head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized peices (approx 8 cups)
1 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine oil, lemon juice, and mustard in a jar.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper - close tightly and shake vigorously to combine.

Toss dressing with lettuce, add additional salt and pepper to taste.  Distribute salad among plates, top with avocado and apple slices and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders - 8pp

Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Serves 4.  Serving size: 2 per person/ 8pp per serving.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp water
1 lb ground, skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp Buffalo wing sauce
1/4 tsp salt
Cooking Spray
8 (2-inch) mini whole wheat buns
8 green-leaf lettuce leaves
8 tomato slices
2 Tbsp crumbled low fat blue cheese

Spray large non-stick skillet or ridged grill pan with non-stick spray and set over medium heat.  Add onion, red bell pepper and water; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and vegetables are very tender, about 8 minutes.

Transfer to large bowl ad let cool 10 minutes.  Add chicken breast, Buffalo wing sauce, and salt; mix well. With wet hands, form into 8 (1/2 inch thick) patties.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm - at least 1 hour or over night.

Spray skillet with non-stick spray and set over medium-high heat.  Add patties and cook until instant read thermometer inserted into side of each burger registers 165 degrees F - 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Split buns, pull out some of the bread from centers.  Place burgers on bottom halves of buns; top  with lettuce leaves, tomato slices, blue cheese and remaining buns.

Ribbon Salad - 2pp

Ribbon Salad
4 (2-cup) servings - 2 PointsPlus each

1 (3/4 lb) head red leaf lettuce (about 8 cups)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Core lettuce and break apart into whole leaves.  Wash and dry leaves thoroughly, then pile half of them in an even layered pile.  Slice leaves crosswise into 1/4 inch strips.  Repeat with remaining leaves.

Place lettuce strips in a large mixing bowl and add olive oil and lemon juice.  Toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Is your momentum waning? Fight Back!!

You are all awesome!  I am blown away by how quickly this blog has over 10,000 page views, and to see the constant stream of people from all over the world finding this site - there are now people from over 70 countries hitting this blog!  Thanks so much to all of you for spreading the word about eating right!  Don't you just love the momentum associated with WeightWatcher's new PointsPlus program?  I'm loving seeing all the successful people they are using on their ads these days, too.  All I can say is WOW!

But what about if you are not feeling so successful right now?  Lets take time to stop and figure it out.  I'll be the first to admit there are times the momentum seems to wane and the scale doesn't seem to budge.  I have currently hit that wall, and it is frustrating.  I hate paying for WW meetings only to see the number stuck on the scale, or worse yet, the numbers going up.  How Frustrating!!  Is it THEM or is it ME?  With other members still finding success, I have to admit its me.  BUT, what that tells me is that its time to fight back!  I'm worth it. You are too.

I know that when I follow the program - really stick to it - I am successful.  Is it that simple? Yes and No.  There are so many factors that contribute to success.  Tools.  For me, it starts with the Getting Started Booklet.
There is so much inspiration in this booklet - that maybe its time to pull it back out.  Second are the meetings - seeing other people being successful helps fire me up to make that success my own.  Then there are all those bloggers telling us their success stories and providing recipes and photos of what they are eating - I just love the inspiration they provide.  Photos of good food make me want to eat right.

But for me, there is something else that helps me so much.  Weekly Menus.  Having a plan.  Its so easy to just 'wing it' - but winging it doesn't work.  My scale tells me that.  My problem is that the weekly menus I worked hard to create at the beginning of the year don't inspire me in this heat.  I need to make take the time to put together a few "summer" menus to fall back on.  That's right...take time (as in giving myself priority over other things).  For those of you who are not familiar with the reason why I've put menus on this blog - it is my way to take some of the work out of staying on program.  Some weeks I just don't feel inspired.  Some weeks I just don't have time to plan.  Some weeks I just need an "EASY" button...so I click and print a menu and grocery list and Just Do It!  Often, that's enough to get me past a hump in my week.  I posted weekly menus in the tab above so you could take advantage of that, too.  Once I get a few more on this site, you could theoretically be able to choose 4 different menus and not eat the same thing twice in an entire month (except for leftovers you save for lunch).  If my menus aren't for you, just take the time to work up some of your own.  It takes a little time, but it is So Worth It!

So, before I even head out to my meeting today, I am going to commit to putting at least one summer menu on this blog before Monday!  I don't know if I've lost weight, stayed the same, or gained some back (ugh), but I know I'm off track - so I promise you that I'll be back on track and running by Monday!!  Please check back and keep me honest ;0)  I've already decided one item to put on my first summer weekly menu -

Grilled Pizzas!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Variety is the Spice of Life

Hope you are enjoying a great day!  Mine is particularly great - especially after my weigh-in.  I was down 4 pounds this week - which more than made up for the 1 pound gain from last week!  Its amazing how motivating a great day at the scale can be!  Plus, we finally are getting a little sun after days and days of rain.  I love how whenever I feel great, I make better choices.  So welcome back, sun!

I watched as my husband, Chuck, fixed his own breakfast this morning - and was inspired!  Looks good doesn't it?  2 frozen waffles (4pp) with zero points bananas and blueberries and 1 Tbsp regular pancake syrup (1pp).  Five pointsplus for the whole thing!  If you need more syrup, you can easily substitute low-calorie syrup and get 2 Tbsp for 1pp.  You probably guessed that I made the same thing for myself - if you did - you were correct!

Ever notice how easy it is to slip into a rut where we eat the same 4 or 5 things for breakfasts, the same tired lunch selections, and how we struggle finding inspiration for family dinners?  I think that is why we start searching the internet for inspiration and motivation...and why some of you may be checking out this blog.  Our leader discussed that subject last week at the meeting, too.  Its typical for everyone to feel they are in a rut once in a while.  But its really important that we choose not to dwell in those ruts.  Face it, in everyday life, every family often eats the same favorites over and over - but then we venture out and try something new.  Why should we expect our new eating habits to be any different?  Remember, its not all about taking the weight off...although we love when that happens!  Its not all about the finish line.  Its about learning to do things differently from the way we've been doing so that once the weight is off, we keep it off.  Its about learning the types of food that we can eat that will keep us full, satisfied, nourished and happy...and will support us staying at goal weight.  Embrace your choices - learn to love to eat this way - and learn to want to eat this way forever! 

So take some time each week and think about the great things you are eating and enjoying.  Don't you just love having all the zero points fruits and veggies?  Its like "mom tricked us" into eating foods that are good for us!  Haven't we been told over and over that a healthy diet incorporates at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables - yet WeightWatchers is getting us to do it!  Good for them and Great for US!

Don't you love having snacks each day?  If you are feeling hungry all the time, you are miserable!  What a breakthrough - you can have some snacks to keep hunger away - so plan some great ones! 
About those food ruts, though - if you need some help to shake it up a bit - check out these links to some of my previous posts:  "Breakfast does a body Good""Building a Satisfying Lunch" -and the post that hopes to inspire you to choose better snacks.  They are full of photos of foods my family has eaten on program...and I have to say, just looking back at them has re-inspired me!  Also - there are menus, grocery lists and many recipes on this site to try -just see the tabs above- and even some ideas to inspire your own creativity!

Try a quick exercise like I did last night...make a 1 minute list of every type of healthy sandwich you can think of that you could make or order out and save your list for when you need inspiration:
Tuna salad, egg salad, chicken curry salad, tarragon chicken salad, ham salad, shrimp salad, roast beef, turkey, ham, chicken, bbq chicken, buffalo chicken, corned beef, BLTs, etc.  Then list the bread assortments like whole grain, flat breads, wraps...then list toppings like lettuce, tomato, pickles, hot peppers, mayo, lite mayo, ranch dressing, mustard, spicy mustard, cranberry mustard, dijon mustard, honey mustard, oil and vinegar, etc.  Don't forget the pull out section of your Getting Started Book - it has great ideas to help you build your meals!  If you really want to go crazy - think of it like you are creating your own Menu! 

So - what will your menu look like?  After choosing the graphic above, I'm thinking I may need to make a "Specials" section for my "menus" and a section for Desserts and Beverage ideas, too, ha ha - sometimes that's all it takes to shake things up!  Please be sure to come back and share your great inspirations by way of comments to this post!  And don't forget to check out Jared's Story tab above - he keeps updating it every week - and I'm sure he'll appreciate your ideas and encouraging comments, too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Points Plus for Dining at your favorite Restaurants

Its always fun to eat out, but it can also be scary if you have no idea what you can choose to eat on the menu and remain on program.  Its important that we learn to make wise choices if we are going to keep the weight off once we get it off.  For that reason, I'm not too hard on myself during this learning process.  We're going to make some mistakes in what we order, but we can learn from it.  Its also good to learn that so many restaurants actually offer food that can fit into our lives, so there is no reason to avoid having fun with friends dining out.

So how do we figure it all out?

 Many of the big chain restaurants offer their nutritional data online.  Some even have it on their menus.  You can look up the restaurant online, or just Google "menu".  A whole host of restaurant menus come up. But what do you do when the restaurant menu you need is not available?  Here are some tips:

*Skip over the appetizers
*choose a garden or side salad instead, with the dressing on the side
*order a small steak or if the smallest they offer is 8oz - cut it in half and ask the server for a "doggie bag"
*order any grilled meat - cut off a regular size portion (about the size of your palm) and get the doggie bag for the rest
*order a baked potato - and it's easier to count the points if the butter/sour cream is on the side.
*be careful of the "big salads" with lots of "stuff on it" - it can be very difficult to calculate and can be deceivingly huge in pointsplus.
*share a dessert if you feel you really need something sweet - or just order fruit

If you cannot find the points value for your favorite local restaurant - perhaps you can find a similar menu item from a chain and use their pointsplus value as a way to guess-timate the points.

Of course, you may choose to use your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance for the night out - we all get 49 of them, but keep in mind that one large order of fries at 5 Guys restaurant contains 39pp, or the Chicken and Broccoli Pasta at Ruby Tuesday's is 42pp- so its always best to educate yourself before you go or you could bust through the 49 WPAs pretty quickly.

One final peice of advice - I'm giving you a link to a website that has a huge amount of restaurants and the pointsplus values for their menu items.  Many of the restaurants may not be from your area, as I found out for my area, too - but there are lots to choose from, so maybe you'll find what you are looking for:

I find that there are usually several selections that "work for me" at the restaurants we frequent.  Breakfast is usually McDonalds egg mcmuffin without cheese (6pp) and coffee...lunch there is usually the southwest salad with grilled chicken for 11pp with the entire package of salad dressing!  I am in love with the Steak and Potato Salad at Applebees - Fresh spinach, red peppers and onions, tomatoes and fresh basil tossed in a creamy Dijon vinaigrette, then topped with hard-boiled eggs and tender grilled sirloin steak, sliced and served over herb-steamed potatoes... 9pp!  Mmmm...yummy!

Tell me - what have you discovered "works for you" at restaurants?  I'm always looking to expand my options!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

People in 74 Countries Have Been Checking Out This Blog!

Welcome to all my new readers!!  To date we have readers from 74 countries!  This is awesome!  We are truly united in our desire to attain a healthy weight and lifestyle!  Some of you have reached out to tell me a little about yourselves and how you found me.  I LOVE to hear your stories!  Please feel free to let me know what you'd like to see me add to my blog - and also if you have any great recipes you'd like to share with other Weight Watchers, comment below and I'll be happy to post them.  Here is an updated list - if you don't see your country listed here - let me know and we'll get you added right away!

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Congo (DRC)
Czech Republic
Hong Kong
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Trinadad & Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Asparagus Risotto - A great spring recipe!

Every week we receive a WeightWatchers Weekly booklet at weigh-in.  Its funny, but I read them practically from cover to cover, but I don't always try the recipes.  Laura, our leader, mentioned a booklet we received a couple of weeks ago that featured a recipe which paired arugula and fruit in a salad and said she usually cringes at the thought of combining fruit and vegetables - but she went on to rave about that recipe!  I still have to try that one, but her comments made me take a closer look at the recipes we are given.  This past week, the feature recipe was for an asparagus risotto.  This one I DID try - and it was a hit with my family.  Every last morsel was cleaned from the serving bowl.  If you haven't tried it yet, I encourage you to do so.  It has a creamy, fresh taste and would be a great side to something fresh off the grill.

Serves 6
5pp per serving

1/2 tsp salt, for cooking water
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-size peices
2 sprays cooking spray
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 small shallots, minced
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 cups canned chicken broth
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Bring a large pot of sated water to a boil.  Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Add asparagus to pot; blanch for 2 minutes.  Immediately remove asparagus from pot and place them into ice water (to stop them from cooking and help retain their bright green color); set aside.

Coat a meduim pot with cooking spray and set over medium heat; melt butter.  Add shallots; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 to7 minutes.  Add rice and toss to coat; cook for 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice; cook, until all lemon juice has been absorbed, stirring continuously so rice does not stick to sides of pot, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer; keep warm.

Add 1/2 cup of hot broth to pot at a time; stir until absorbed.  Repeat with remaining broth, making sure each addition of broth is absorbed before adding more.  This process takes about 20 minutes.

When rice turns creamy and just done (should be slightly chewy and not mushy), remove pot from heat; add cheese and stir well.  Stir in asparagus; season with salt and pepper.  Yields 1 scant cup per serving.

Note:  If you like, use white wine instead of lemon juice and swap spinach for the asparagus.  Could affect PointsPlus value.

I fully expect to be reviewing some of the older booklets for recipes I failed to try - so keep an eye out for them in up-coming posts!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

UPDATE: Foil Packets on the Grill...

I posted earlier today an idea I saw at the doctor's office in a magazine...grilling food in foil packets.  Usually we do this type of cooking when we're camping - which I love to do -but now I'm wondering why do we wait to go camping to do it?  Although I didn't do the "make-your-own-combo-foil-pack" type of entertaining ...it was just my family and a house guest...I did cook our dinner in individual foil packets on the grill tonight.

I knew I planned to have pork chops on the grill, some type of potato, and a frozen veggie, but as the day progressed, my mind kept going back to today's post...so here is what I put into each of OUR foil packs:

1-boneless pork chop, seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper (6oz - 6PP)
1-sprig each of fresh rosemary and thyme (0pp)
1- sliced potato (5PP)
several slices of onion (0pp)
frozen green beans and frozen bell pepper mix -(I emptied both bags into a collandar and ran warm water over them to thaw, then drain) (0/0 pp)

Once the main ingredients were in place, I drizzled some olive oil  (1tsp - 1PP)over each just to ensure the veggies wouldn't stick to the foil - and besides, I need to get more healthy oils into our diet.  So far - that was soooo easyyyy!!

I folded up the packages, and made them pretty flat so there would be little "air" inside.  Chuck had the grill pre-heated on high, but when we put the packages onto the grill, he turned it down to medium heat.  Our 4 foil packs took up almost all the grill surface - just a note so if you choose to entertain guests, you may want to have a second grill handy or food to snack on while some guests wait their turn for theirs to cook...but its not bad because they only take about 15 minutes to cook.  If you have a second "warming rack" in your grill, you could probably rotate packs every 5 minutes and just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.  I'll have to figure that out another time (and there will be another time).

We just sat back and had a nice chat while it all cooked.  After just a few minutes, we began to get little whifs of the food cooking -  it was incredible!!  Within about 15 minutes we tested one package, and the pork was cooked through, the veggies were all soft and steamy - and the smell was wonderful!  We put each person's foil pack onto doubled-up paper plates and we opened them "campfire-style" and ate right from the foil pack around our fire pit...

Total for OUR packets - 12pp for the entire dinner!  That left points to use for more roasted jumbo marshmallows over our fire - 2pp each ;0)

I know, you were expecting photos of the FINISHED PRODUCT...and I'm sorry...I'm really bad about taking pictures when I'm so hungry.  Were they any good?  Maybe this next photo will give you a clue...

The smile on Justin's face tells it all.  We all sat around for several hours with no TV, no stereos, no game-devices or cell phones...just talking, eating, roasting more marshmallows and basically enjoying being a family.  And like the comment at the bottom of the original post about grilling foil packs...the best bonus is that there are no dishes or pots and pans to wash up when you are done!  Life is Great!!