Friday, January 7, 2011

Back to the Kitchen!!

As I'd hoped, I reached halfway-to-goal at my weigh-in yesterday, whoo-hoo! 19 (official) pounds down, 19 more to meet my original Jenny Craig goal (though I'm probably going to lose more, more about that later). Jenny rewarded me for reaching the halfway point by giving me $50 credit toward this week's food. Yay! Also, this milestone means that I will now start weaning off the Jenny Cuisine and onto my own food. I'll be eating JC five days a week, 2 days on my own. Double yay! Don't get me wrong, the food is really, really good, but 13 weeks of anything can get boring. And, you all know how much I love to cook so I am really looking forward to getting back into the kitchen, cooking and eating my own food.

Now, the way the diet works is by using Exchanges, similar to the old Weight Watchers system I used back in the 1990's. Honestly, I found that program much healthier and more effective and I'm familiar with it so this should be relatively easy. I'm on the 1,200 calorie plan and I get 5 Starches, unlimited (non-starchy)Vegetables, 2 Fruits, 5 Meat/Meat Substitutes, 3 Milks and 2 Fats. Of course there's an Exchange List in the JC literature which I'll be referring to frequently until I get the hang of this.

Since the weather here has turned chilly again, I think a nice pot of soup is in order, don't you? Beren found me an older Jenny Craig cookbook at the thrift store & I spent some time browsing through it this morning, found a yummy-sounding Vegetable-Beef Soup recipe that will be a perfect dinner tonight. I'm pleased to see that the recipe uses only 1/2 pound of meat for 10 cups of soup! I'm sure you could even eliminate the meat, making it vegetarian, which is what I'd do if I didn't intend to share this meal with my meat-lovin' man! *wink* I'll probably serve it with some type of whole-grain (80 calorie) bread and a big green salad.

Vegetable-Beef Soup

-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/2 pound top round steak -- boneless
vegetable cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups water
2 cans no-salt-added beef broth -- (14-1/4-ounce each)
1 can no-salt-added whole tomatoes -- (141/2-ounce) undrained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced carrot
1 medium yellow squash -- cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small zucchini -- cut into 1-inch chunks

Trim fat from steak; cut steak into 1-inch pieces. Coat a Dutch oven with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add steak; cook until browned on all sides, stirring often. Remove steak from Dutch oven and set aside.

Add oil to Dutch oven. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium-low; add sugar and salt. Cook 15 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.

Add beef, water, and next 5 ingredients to onion mixture. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Add cabbage and remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard bay leaf.

"Jenny Craig's No Diet Required cookbook"
"10 cups" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : Makes 10 (1-cup) servings. Per Serving: 1 Meat, 1 Vegetable, 1 Free

Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Calories:79; Carbohydrate 9g; Protein 6.8g; Fat 1.6g; Cholesterol 13mg; Sodium 216mg

I'll be sure to share a review tomorrow. Until then, have a Beauty-Full Day! TGIF!


  1. Down 19?!?!? thats awsome! Keep up the great work. I knew you looked great in your last picture spread... ONWARD!!!

  2. Sounds delish-let us know how it turns out!

    Polar's Mom

  3. That's great! I've also lost a few pounds (10) by eating low carb just a few weeks (no exercise). So meat and veggies is good, carbs bad. And natural fat is also good! (unlike we've been told...) I eat fish and eggs myself as I don't eat meat but my family eats organic meat.

    We try to buy as much organic as we can because the difference is so big. The taste, the sweetness of the fruits and veggies, the vitamins, lack of chemicals... I really recommend it because I'm feeling much better myself now.

  4. Hej, Rapunzel!

    I awarded your blog! (Hope this is alright with you!)

    Look here:

    or here:

  5. Glad to hear you are doing so well Michelle!!


  6. Thank you, Lesley! xoxooxox

    Frl. Irene Palfy, ooh, I am so honored! Thank you!!!

    Helena, WTG! As close to nature as possible is of course the best way to eat.

    Thank you, Polar's Mom! It was quite tasty!

    Thank you, Misunderstood. You always help to keep me motivated and on track!

  7. I am so very proud and excited for you! Good job you gorgeous creature!