sylke: (sushi)
[personal profile] sylke
Monday morning, I weighed myself to see how I'd done over Pennsic. Often, folks lose weight at Pennsic because it's so freakin' hot, we have no appetite. This year, it was pretty rainy, we had lots of snacks available at camp, and there were a couple evenings of not-usual-Pennsic eating (steak night and a town run). I've been weighing in at 160 in the mornings for quite a while now, probably a year or so. Monday morning said 163. Maybe I ate late. Maybe my body was adjusting to being in air conditioning. Maybe it was water retention. Whatever the reason, 160 is already a little heavier than I'd really like to be, so this was my impetus to start doing something about it.

I joined Weight Watchers online since I had success with it the last time I wanted to lose weight. Flex plan, because I'm much better at eating smaller amounts of whatever I want than I am at eating primarily from a restricted food set. Back to the world of counting points for everything and making tradeoffs and calculations and being a touch obsessive. At least it's something I'm comfortable doing. :) So, tonight I made chicken soup with barley and mushrooms since it's usually filling and healthy, and ended up with a meal that was 7 points per bowl. Real-people bowl, not like "one cup is one serving" style. With that and a slice of sourdough bread, I'm actually pretty full and I still have a couple points left for the day if I want a snack before bed. :)

7-point Chicken-Mushroom-Barley Soup
(serves approximately 6, depending on how much water you use)

1 lb chicken thighs with bone (remove skin)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small stalks celery, sliced
1 cp uncooked pearl barley
8 oz mushrooms (I used the "exotic blend" of oyster, shiitake, and crimini)
salt to taste
garam masala to taste

Boil the chicken thighs until just cooked and you have a light chicken stock. Remove the thighs.
While the chicken is boiling, sautee onions in the olive oil until softened.
Bring stock back to a boil, and add the barley, softened onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms.
Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Break or cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces, and add the pieces back to the pot.
Season to taste.

This ended up being actually pretty darn tasty. Now, I did make the stock with the chicken skin. If you just used boneless, skinless thighs, this would be a 5-point dinner, but you wouldn't get a very good stock. Also, there may be more pointage than 7 per bowl because while I didn't eat the skins, I did boil some of the flavor out of them. I usually sautee the whole mirepoix (onion/carrot/celery), but not bothering with it didn't seem to negatively impact the flavor or texture. Same with mushrooms, I usually sautee them as well, but they had a bit more body just putting them in raw.
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