I was just your average overweight, fast food, candy, pizza-loving, non-active girl. A few years, a lot of determination & 130 lbs down later, I feel like I'm finally alive! If I can do this anyone can.
*It looked much prettier before I cut it…But I wanted to show you the portion size!
So this one is not only filling, but low in points. Right up my alley. 1/6 of the recipe is 6 PointsPlus on Weight Watchers. I was going to pair with a salad, but was honestly full enough from just the casserole! It has some kick, so if you don’t like spicy foods this one might not be for you. (I absolutely LOVED!) To get this recipe go here!
I thought this was pretty good! I paired it with a 1 PointsPlus salad and felt very satisfied. I used penne only because that is what I had.
What you need:
12 oz uncooked ziti
2 tsp olive oil
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
1/3 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef
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
How to make it:
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.
It’s no secret. I have a HUGE sweet tooth. I could be in a room full of chips, pasta, dips, etc. and be in full control of myself…Put me in the room next door filled with cookies, candy, ice cream, etc…D A N G E R. One aspect of Weight Watchers that is key to my success is the idea that you can have anything you want…and they strongly encourage you to include the things you love in your plan. Remember, this style of eating is a [lifestyle] change, not a [diet]. You will eat this way for the rest of your life, not just until you hit goal! Let me put it this way: If someone ever told me “You can never have candy again” you would soon hear the headline “Candy lover goes crazy on “diet” enforcer” on the news. I love when I find products that satisfy my sweet tooth, yet don’t blow my Points Plus budget. These little gems pass the test! Blue Bunny (music to my ears) Sweet Freedom Krunch Lites. They are no sugar added, but honestly do not taste like it! For 3 Points Plus, done and done.
So, I LOVE pasta. But it tends to be higher in Points Plus values. I use a kind called Fiber Gourmet-I can find it locally, but I think most people have to order it online…There are other good pasta choices out there that are more widely available, just check the labels! Regardless, I allow myself 1 serving of the pasta (2 oz) that is 4 Points Plus. That alone, does not keep me full so I fill mine with zero Points Plus veggies! I switch it up, but this one has asparagus (cooked on the stove in water for 6 minutes) broccoli, shallots, and tomatoes. I also use the zest and juice of one lemon. I like cheese in mine so I use 1 Weight Watchers string cheese (1 Points Plus) and chop it up-This allows me to keep my cheese portion under control! I also add red pepper flakes and a Tbsp of high quality grated parm-1 Points Plus (higher quality tastes better so you don’t have to use as much!) I sauteed the veggies in 2 Tsp of olive oil (helps me get in my good health guidelines) which has 2 Points Plus. So I ate this entire pasta dish for 8 Points Plus and I have been full all night!