Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weight Watchers PointsPlus Just 5 Cookbook - One Word - YUM!

Today I prepared meals for the week. It's so exciting to try new recipes and I always enjoy adapting them to my own tastes.

I used the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Just Five cookbook which I picked up at my meeting a few weeks ago. We tried a couple of the recipes last week which were fantastic.

I changed just a few things. I believe these recipes would be fantastic as they are written, but the slight adaptations I made suited the tastes of my family but didn't change the nutritional value of the recipes by much.

I'm just glad my children (ages 9, 4 and 2) will eat nearly anything. I can say there were no complaints at the table this evening.

 If you are following the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program, I highly recommend getting this cookbook. The meals are easy to make and come together very quickly. I am far from a trained chef, but honestly I felt like one as I was cooking tonight. 

 Seafood Salad with Lemon and Orzo - 6 pointsplus values per serving
Ingredients for Seafood Salad with Lemon and Orzo
This was the first thing I prepared this evening. I think it will be great to pack in lunch this week.

Five ingredients:
whole wheat orzo pasta
olive oil
frozen seafood medley
red onion

Shrimp in Steamer with Bay Leaves
Unfortunately, I could not find whole wheat orzo pasta in my store, so I settled for regular orzo. I added celery and cucumber which I think were really nice additions. I also don't care for calamari or mussels so just used shrimp for this salad.  I steamed my shrimp, rather than boiled and added bay leaves for flavor. After it was all mixed together, I added a bit of dill weed.

The finished product smells and tastes so fresh and crisp. I really can't wait to have this for lunch tomorrow and the next day. Because it's seafood, that is the longest I'll trust that it's still fresh enough to eat, but with four other people in my house I have no fear that it will all be consumed. This is definitely a new favorite! This recipe alone make the purchase of the new book worth every penny.

Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Beans - 8 pointsplus values per serving
Ingredients for Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Beans
I have class with a final exam tomorrow evening. I know I won't have time to cook before I leave the house for class and any minutes I have to spare I want to spend hitting the books. I also didn't want to wait until after the test to have dinner. So I prepared tomorrow night's meal, tonight. I knew I wanted something with pasta as it warms up well.

My kids also love pasta, so that's just a little added bonus. 

Five ingredients:
whole wheat rigatoni
spicy Italian sausages
chicken broth
red beans

I substituted organic chicken sausage for regular Italian sausage as it is what we really prefer. I only added garlic and the left over red onion I had from preparing the seafood salad. Both were nice additions. This dish is so pretty and the flavor of the kale is really complimentary to the spiced sausage. I know they are going to love this one tomorrow! I sprinkled just a few red pepper flakes on top and I think we will probably have a few sprinkles of fresh Parmesan cheese to finish it off.

Scallop-Broccoli Stir-Fry - 5 pointsplus values per serving
Ingredients for Scallop-Broccoli Stir-Fry
I ventured into the unknown. I cooked with ginger, which is not something I normally cook with nor order in restaurants.

Five ingredients:
canola oil
sea scallops
reduced sodium soy sauce

So good!
I only added four more ingredients. Garlic was a must! I'm a garlic lover though. I also squeezed the juice from 1/2 a lemon. Close to the end of the recipe I added a can of water chestnuts which were a fantastic addition. We served this over Steamfresh Brown Rice (additional PointsPlus values), which is so easy to prepare (microwave for 4 1/2 minutes) and it was so good!  I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the ginger! It wasn't overpowering and this recipe would not have been as good without it.

It was a hit!
We will make this one again, for sure. It was also very pretty on the plate, which makes you feel like you've made something that would compete with something out of Chef Ramsey's kitchen ( no matter how delusional the thought LOL).

I'm also happy to report that during all this cooking and picture taking I did not get my phone wet in the process. 

Have you tried any new recipes or any new cookbooks? If so, share what you've liked recently.


  1. Did you get the cookbook at a meeting or did you order it online? I'd like to get it.

    I tried a new recipe and it was really good. Chicken breast, black beans, corn, and salsa in the slow cooker. The chicken breast was so tender that it fell apart and it was really tasty. Full of protein and fiber.

  2. So you totally answered my question in your post. I was reading quickly and missed it.

  3. Hi Ashley,
    I purchased it at a meeting but I have seen several on eBay. So far it doesn't appear Amazon has it, as when I was writing the blog I did a search to try to link to it.

    I love slow cooker recipes so will have to try the chicken with corn and salsa you mentioned. Did you add anything else to it? I'm thinking maybe some cilantro would be pretty good. . .

  4. LOL no worries! It was a little long (as I tend to get) and the pictures made it seem even longer. :)

  5. I haven't tried the cilantro but I'm sure it would definitely add. I'm thinking I might add some red bell peppers and maybe some onions next time.

  6. That seafood and pasta salad looks amazing! I'm all about seafood lately. I definitely need to track down a copy of the recipe book to try it!

  7. Liz.... I just love that you are posting these with the fabulous pictures!! You have definitely made me want to do all of these recipes!

    Hmmm... "Cooking with Liz".. I like it!

  8. I need that cook book. 5 ingredient, easy, healthy meals? Yes please!!!

    Your variations all look so great.

  9. Just to give an update to last week and trying all of these recipes - they all were fantastic and some are new family favorites!

    We are trying more this week. It's brought life back to my kitchen! Well worth the $9.95 spend. In fact, I purchased the full PointsPlus cookbook at today's meeting and am super excited to give it a try.