This soup is so easy to make, so tasty, and so healthy!
There are different ways to get the seeds out of a pomegranate, but this is the only way I’ve seen to preserve all the seeds without making too much of a mess. I would advise wearing a dark-colored apron when doing this to avoid possible spatter of the juices.
I have smoked things using the barbecue grill before, and it’s largely the same thing that I did here with an offset smoker.
I will explain the adjustments as needed for each step of the process.
Full disclosure: I decided to start my adventure in smoking a whole fish when the outside temperature was 27°F (-3°C). I certainly don’t recommend doing this, since it was impossible to maintain the temperature I needed to fully cook the fish. I finished the cook of the fish in the oven. But, in fact, what I did constituted a Cold Smoke of the fish: the internal temperature rarely got above 85ºF, but the smoke flavor imparted by the process was spectacular.
When I first decided to make a light pancake, I did what I always do: I searched on-line. The first thing I found was a recipe that used oats, bananas, and milk. This created something that looked like a pancake, but was spongy and somewhat crunchy because of the oats. Even worse, it was much heavier than what I came up with here: 3 points for 2 “pancakes”, which isn’t terrible, but also not as good as these babies. I spent the first 3 paragraphs of the post on those oat cakes just explaining what they were, since I didn’t really consider them to be pancakes.
Then, I decided to start over.
I did see recipes that used eggs in what looked like a huge proportion: 2 whole eggs for each banana?? No wonder one reviewer remarked that the pancakes tasted like “banana omelets”. So, I decided to try again, but take out the thing that makes eggs taste “eggy” in a recipe: the yolk. I then went an extra step by whipping the egg whites into a froth to add air to the batter.
Finally, one thing I missed in the oat cakes was a total lack of crispness. No matter how long I cooked those, they never got crisp. I know, the first thing you do with pancakes is smother them with syrup, but I want them to be somewhat firm on the surface so they don’t turn into a pile of mush. So, I added a small amount of flour to these. This is the only source of points in the recipe, so you could try excluding it if you like. But, they’re only 43 calories this way (compared to about 65 for a regular pancake), and they really do feel like a regular pancake.
Wait…there’s more. Some recipes show vanilla extract and sweetener as optional ingredients. I feel that they’re essential. Otherwise, you’ll have a tasteless pancake. Again, I know they you’re going to have them swimming in syrup anyway. But, if you have tasteless pancakes, you might as well just pour the syrup on a plate and eat it that way. You will notice the difference.
Ropa Vieja is typically done with beef. This is the chicken part of my Chicken Mofongo, but it can certainly be used for other awesome things like tacos, burritos, or just eating straight out of the bowl.
This recipe is also a rare “Absolute 0” recipe, which means that it’s 0 Weight Watchers points, regardless of how much you have: everything in this recipe is a 0-point ingredient, so help yourself!
When some people want to thicken a soup, they add flour or cornstarch. Others might add milk or cream. I prefer to add more of the main ingredient: I use probably double the amount of mushrooms here compared to what you’ll see in a “normal” recipe. The sheer volume makes the soup thick without adding anything that’s bad for you. Best of all, it adds even more mushroom flavor.
I went heavy on the garlic in this recipe because I wanted to be able to taste it. This is still a very mushroom-forward dish, but the roasted garlic notes are unmistakable. Use half as much garlic if you want the garlic to be more subtle.
I was shocked by how many Weight Watchers points regular gummy bears are: 1 point for 3 of those little sugar bombs?? NNOOO!!!!
But, here’s a way around that. I adapted the following from https://elanaspantry.com/gummy-bears/
NOTE: the images here are from when I used other diet juices.
First, let’s play a game: use voice-to-text on your phone to say “Shakshuka” (pronounced Shack-SHOO-kah), and post what your phone thinks you’re trying to say (mine thought I said “Shack sugar” and “Suction Cup”).
Now then. Shakshuka is one of those wonderful recipes that doesn’t require any adjustment at all to be ultra healthy, and also faithful to the proper recipe. @beth-bueschler51 (on Weight Watchers Connect) shared a picture of shakshuka she had, and shared the recipe she was given (thanks again, Beth!) The recipe didn’t have all the measurements for a proper recipe, so I’m posting what I did. I also added ground chile de arbol for some heat, which is a bit like cayenne pepper with character.
The only ingredients that have any points at all are the oil and tomato paste, but they’re in such a small quantity that this still comes up as a 0-pointer (and a wispy 132 calories per serving). I had mine with the #2ingredientnaanbread I made previously.
I didn’t realize how wonderful it is to make your own stock. Besides adding a fantastic depth of flavor to whatever you use it for, stocks are easy to make and significantly cheaper than anything you can buy from the supermarket. All it will cost you is the price of a carrot, a piece of celery, half an onion, water, and seasonings for a basic stock.
With the foundation of a basic stock, you can customize the stock to be any kind of stock you want:
- Add shrimp shells to make a shrimp stock.
- Add a leftover chicken carcass (bones, meat, etc) to make a chicken stock.
- Add the leftover parts of beef bones, meat, etc) to make a beef stock.
- Add the scrapings from the gills of a portabella mushroom to make a mushroom stock.
Best of all, you can leave out salt completely if you need to control your sodium intake, and make it fat-free if you trim the things you put in the pot well enough first.
Baba Ganoush is one of those rare recipes that’s incredibly healthy without having to make any adjustments.