Weight Watcher's Free(ish) Lunch
Save your Points for an after dinner treat.
Credit: Ben NelsonAre you a Weight Watcher, looking to save your points for the evening? I have found that if I can eat a reasonably normal dinner, I stick to my point plus targets with much greater success. Life is really good if I have a few points left for a little ice cream or ice pop after dinner.
I have found a way to keep hunger at bay and still have plenty of points left for my evening.
I don’t like skipping breakfast since that leaves me ravenous by lunchtime.
Instead, I have targeted my lunch for a makeover. Rather than going out with the boys for pizza or a sandwich that will cost me 15 points plus (not to mention 8 bucks - sheesh) or doing salads from popular chain restaurants, which are mostly good for more than 10 points plus, I have come up with this beauty.
This is a great strategy for late summer while there are loads of fresh veggies available.
I take one large ripe (but not mushy) tomato and cut it into quarter or half-inch cubes. I do this in the morning and toss it in a 1-pint soup container to take to work for lunch.
I chop some onion and toss that on top.
To this I add whatever veggies I have in the fridge. Perhaps some green beans, or zucchini, or maybe some cucumber. I love adding a bit of celery when I have it, for the crunch.,
At this point my lunch costs me ZERO points plus!
Next I will take about a tablespoon or two (Hey – I admit it – I am a guy and rarely measure ingredients) of balsamic vinegar. I will also confess that for this I do not spend big money on expensive vinegar. I get the store brand, and keep it on the cheap.
That brings our point count up to – you guessed it ZERO points plus.
The only thing I will add that costs me any points at all is a little light feta cheese which gives me just enough non-veggie yum to satisfy.
I season with salt and pepper, and I like to add a pinch of celery seed or if you have it, some fresh basil really is a great addition.
I use this tomato base, and change the seasoning on various days to achieve a little variety.
For example, some times I go Mexican, and use chili powder, cumin and cilantro, while other days I am feeling more Italian, and will use basil and oregano with the balsamic.
I have gone Asian a time or two with soy sauce instead of the vinegar, and going with ginger and perhaps some red pepper flakes.
This is my go-to lunch and with the cheese added it totals a satisfying 1 Points Plus value.
Let me tell you, the dish of peaches and ice cream in the evening is so worth it.
Prep tip: How to cube a tomato
Let me show you how I chop the tomato in less than a minute
1) Take the large tomato and cut out the stem.Credit: Ben Nelson
2) Make slices about ¼” apart across the top, but not all the way through to the cutting board.Credit: Ben Nelson
3) Turn the tomato 90 degrees and repeat.Credit: Ben Nelson
4) Wrap your hand around the perimeter of the tomato, turn it on its side, and slice through the side.Credit: Ben Nelson
5) This will leave only the bottom of the tomato uncut, which you can slice into the same size cubes.
Finishing the Salad
Now that you have your base, you can add the other ingredient in any order. I like building the salad in the morning so the vinegar gets some time to breakdown the ingredient and merge flavors a bit, but this can be eaten right away too.
Once they are all in the bowl (or lunch bucket) simply toss and go.
I find this salad satisfies me for hours, and with a piece of fruit mid afternoon, I can keep my points for the evening.
Let me know if you have a favorite free(ish) lunch of your own.