Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Change of Plans....and a little Soup

As you already know, Judy and I are members of Weight Watchers. We follow the WW weight loss plan, go to the weekly meetings, and track the “Point Value” of everything we eat.  This is how, since January of this year, we have lost over 90 pounds between us.  We believe in the WW Lifestyle because unlike diets which restrict what you can eat, with this plan you may eat anything you like, any time you like, but in moderation.

As WW members we closely monitor the “Point Value” of all of the recipes we post at Cooking D’Lites, whether those recipes come from the Weight Watchers website, another food related website, the Sunday Food Section of the newspaper, or whether they are old family recipes handed down through generations.  

In many cases we use the tools available to us at the WW website to “Build” a recipe by inputting all of the ingredients, by measurement, of any recipe we have, thus giving us the “Point Value” per serving of that particular recipe.

This week Weight Watchers made a major change in the way that the “Point Value” for foods was calculated. Previously the determining factors in calculating the “Point Value” of foods were the amount of Calories, and Fat and Fiber content. The new plan no longer counts Calories. Instead, the important factors are now Fat content, Fiber content, Carbohydrates and Protein. The aforementioned “Tools” we have for calculating “Point Value” are available both On-line and with WW Apps for our cell phones. 

With the revised plan, and taking into consideration the newly added Carbs and Protein, the “Point Value” of most foods is now slightly higher than it was previously. In some cases as much as 15 -20% higher. However, the good news is, the amount of points we are allowed to consume each day is also higher. In my case the increase went from 28 to 32 points per day.  Previously I was also able to “Bank” five points per day, if I stayed at or below my daily allowance of 28 points. Then I could use those “Banked” points as I needed them, spread out over a few days or all at once. With the revised plan we are allowed to “Bank” seven points per day to be used whenever they may be needed. 

This brings me to the reason for today’s posting. The “Point Values” for all of the recipes we have posted since starting Cooking D’Lites need to be updated.  I am now in the process of updating all of our recipes, which should be completed in the next few days.  Should you happen to go back through our previous posts you will find each one showing the new “PointsPlus” values very soon. All new posts will list “PointsPlus” values.

Basically, the plan remains the same, only the “Point Values” have changed. So now you know.

Let’s have a bonus recipe today, shall we?

Even though this is Judys week to cook, as long as I’m sitting here writing I may as well offer up a recipe for you to enjoy. I’ve been making today’s bonus recipe for years. Usually I make it right after the holidays. It is, after all, prepared using Thanksgiving leftovers.  If you have Turkey more than once a year, as we do, then you can enjoy this dish all year long. 
Turkey- Split Pea Soup

From Our Kitchen to Yours.

Turkey – Split Pea Soup


1 Turkey Carcass, excess meat left on, skin removed (Sorry)

2 medium raw Onions, yellow, coarsely chopped    

7 stalks Celery, coarsely chopped, use young stalks with leaves   

1 ½  cups Carrots, coarsely chopped    

3 cloves Garlic, large, minced     

½  tsp  Salt, or to taste    

2 ½  pounds dry Split Peas, (2 ½ bags) 

14 cups Water    

¼  tsp Black Pepper, or to taste   

3 Tbsp Butter    

2 Bay leaves, fresh   


Melt butter in large pot. 

Add Onion and Celery, cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender, about 15 minutes.

Add Carrots, Garlic, continue to cook, stirring, for an additional 3 minutes. 

Add Water and bring to a boil. 

Add Turkey Carcass, Peas, Bay leaves, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until peas become soft, split and soup thickens, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Keep stirring every few minutes to make certain that the bottom doesn’t burn.  

After an hour or so, when the soup has thickened, remove the Carcass and Bay leaves. Continue to warm the soup on low heat for about 1 hour more.

Serve this soup with all of the bits and pieces left intact. Don’t strain it or process it.  It’s delicious just the way it is.

Yields about 1 cup per serving.  Makes about 15 servings.  PointsPlus value per serving is 5. Level of difficulty is Easy. Prep time is 25 minutes. Cooking time is about 2 hours.

Weight Watchers and PointsPlus are trademarks of Weight Watchers Intl. Inc.

Photo by Barry Baruh

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