March 3, 2011

In the Kitchen

I'm shocked if you're not already laughing from the title.  Meg?  Cooking?  Yes, I'm trying.  Today was my second week participating in Weight Watchers at Work (on the new Points Plus system) and this requires healthy food.  You know, meals other than pasta drenched in butter and oil and salami and pepperoni sandwiches, which is what Tony eats.  Last week I dropped 3 lbs. only to gain one back this week.  I've been following the plan and working out more so I'm hoping for better numbers next Thursday!

In the last few weeks, I've developed a liking to diet ginger ale, egg whites, Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese, salad and lots of it, butternut and spaghetti squash and did I mention Laughing Cow cheese?  Yes, I live off that stuff.  I read the email newsletters from Hungry Girl and Weight Watchers and try to experiment with recipes that don't include too many ingredients and/or steps and/or time.  That's when I decided to try:

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal (5 pts./serving, from Weight Watchers)
6 cup(s) water
3 cup(s) pumpkin (raw 1-inch cubes), preferably from pie or sugar pumpkins
1 1/2 cup(s) Hodgson Mill Steel cut oats, or other brand
1/2 cup(s) honey (I ran short on honey)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, or grated nutmeg (didn't have any nutmeg so went for ginger....? still learning!)

Put everything in a 3- to 6-quart slow cooker; stir well.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours; stir well before serving. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

This recipe yields a whole lot of oatmeal!  I ate it twice, transported it to work for three friends and stuck some in the freezer.  Next time culinary creativity strikes and I'm in the mood for some pumpkin-flavored oats, I'll use a crock pot liner for easier cleanup.  The steel cut oats and pumpkin cooked at a low temp overnight and in the morning we woke to the sweet smell of .... dog vomit? That's what Tony said it smelt like. Thanks, hunny. That's my breakfast!

Confession:  This is the first time I've ever used a crock pot and it's only because I borrowed by Mom's.  Second confession: I still screw up tsp and tbsp.  Martha, please help!  Maybe opting for video production in high school instead of home economics wasn't the most practical idea.

I'm no chef.  I don't have all the spices and ingredients on hand in the pantry.  And this can be a roadblock from time to time, recipe to recipe.  A new ingredient and the recipe only calls for a couple teaspoons.  So sometimes I may substitute a little ginger for nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon for allspice, a tablespoon for a teaspoon!


  1. I am not up at is 10pm here.
    I have been doing the same the past two weeks. Turning 30 makes you a little more, well, I have no idea, but keep posting your recipes and I will try them! FYI, no 'bad' carbs for me and working out like crazy (for me 5days a week is crazy!).

  2. 5 days a week is A LOT - good for you! I'm trying two new recipes this week. I will post!