I’ve been on WW (aka weight watchers) since February, and although my progress has been a bit up and down, it’s mostly been down to the tune of more than 10kg. Yay!
My Thermomix has been a vital companion on this quest. I’ve had fun adapting some of the official Basic Cookbook recipes to be WW-friendly, as well as adapting WW recipes (or parts thereof) for the Thermomix. The easiest way to track your food is to make it yourself, after all.
So this post is pretty much all main WW-friendly meals. Because, let’s face it, there hasn’t been much sweet cooking going on in my kitchen this year.
In the previous mixadventures post I mentioned making an WW adaptation of butter chicken. Aside from being delicious, it’s zero points in the latest WW system, so I’ve made it a few times.
But that’s certainly not all I’ve been cooking…
The lentil hotpot is in the Thermomix Basic Cookbook. I hadn’t made it before, but because lentils are very WW-friendly (zero points) I thought I’d give it a go. In fact, the only ingredient that needs to be tracked is the bacon. (Needless to say, I did not include the optional chorizo, although I’m sure it would be yummy.)
I followed the recipe without changing anything and calculated the meal as approximately 1 point a serve (using the leanest possible bacon). It was rather tasty on buttered toast, although not something I wanted to eat for days on end. So I froze a few serves and that worked well.
I will definitely make this again, since lentils are so good for you and it only has a little bit of bacon. But I will probably add some extra vegetables next time (the recipe has leek and carrot only) and may try it with chicken instead of bacon.
Mushroom and lentil ragu
This meal, obtained from the WW website, has been a revelation. I think of it as my healthy bolognese sauce. It can be completely vegan, using lentils instead of beef mince. But my preferred version substitutes half the lentils for minced chicken breast.
Here, the exciting Thermomix step is mincing a chicken breast!
I had never had cause to mince chicken (or in fact any type of meat). You’re limited to 500g, but one chicken breast is a perfect amount. Basically you partially freeze the breast, chop into smallish chunks, then chop it up in about 5 seconds.
Because I generally add a lot of extra vegetables (carrot, zucchini etc), I’ve been cooking this ragu in a pot on the stove instead of in the Thermomix, simply because it won’t all fit. But I have been chopping the vegetables nice and fine in the Thermomix, before transferring to the pot.
It’s also worth mentioning that the small green French-style lentils don’t need soaking, although you need to cook for 40 mins or so. Combined with the chicken mince, they give the ragu a really nice texture. Not to mention, it’s delicious!
I served this with steamed pumpkin (zero points) for a completely zero point meal. (And I can steam the pumpkin in the Thermomix while the ragu is cooking on the stove.) It would also go well with a veggie mash (see below).
Chicken with creamy vegetable sauce
This is in the Basic Cookbook and essentially has you steaming chicken in the Varoma, while cooking a vegetable sauce at the same time. I followed the recipe, reducing the amount of oil and omitting the cream.
It’s not too different from what I’ve been doing with chicken and vegetable soup, really. The sauce was founded on mushrooms (which are steamed initially and then blitzed with the sauce later).
When it was all cooked, I had at least four meals worth — chunks of chicken swimming in a mushroom sauce. I served it with mashed vegetables (see below).
This was quite tasty, but probably not my favourite of all these meals. And the fact I had to make a second something to eat with it was a bit of a drawback. I’m not sure whether I’ll make it again. Maybe in another few months, since it’s pretty healthy.
Chicken Veloute Meal
Another Basic Cookbook recipe, similar in principle to the above chicken in vegetable sauce, but with different flavours. The meal is actually supposed to make two courses — a potato and leek soup, followed by steamed chicken with vegetable ribbons and a sauce.
Needless to say, I didn’t bother with the two courses, and fudged everything to cook soup and chicken. The recipe includes dijon mustard in the potato and leek-based soup, which was a nice new flavour!
One other difference with this recipe is that it cooks the potato and leek in the simmering basket, instead of the bowl — I presume so they don’t inhibit the blades and there’s a sufficient steam vortex to steam the chicken at the same time. However, it makes a smaller quantity of soup than if you make the straight soup recipes.
Mixed vegetable mash
A lot of people swear by Thermomix-cooked mashed potato. Since living on my own, I’ve never really cooked or eaten mashed potato, so it was not really on my radar.
However, when flicking through the Basic Cookbook about six weeks ago I noticed the mixed vegetable mash, which spoke to me a lot more. And it seemed like a good accompaniment for the types of WW-friendly meals I’ve been cooking.
So I got a bee in my bonnet about trying it out. Seeing as it’s essentially a mix of potato and another vegetable, it’s a little more WW-friendly than straight mashed potato.
It’s pretty much like cooking up a soup. Although you do cook the potato and vegetables in milk and a little bit of butter. (So it’s a tiny bit naughty.)
I’ve made two versions of the mixed vegetable mash so far — potato and carrot, the potato and broccoli. I only made half serves, and even that did me at least three meals (coupled with something else). It’s better than pasta, I figure.
There’s obviously a bit of a theme happening in all those meal selections above — a lot of chicken breasts, a lot of vegetables, a lot of lentils! (I did also experiment with a chickpea and mushroom curry, cooked on the stove, but didn’t much like it.)
I’m still nominally on WW (she says, gnawing on Lindor balls), so will continue to explore new WW-friendly Thermomix meals in the coming months. There’s plenty of room to experiment with beans and other pulses, as well as fish.
One thing I’m eager to try, as soon as I can get the ingredients, is baked beans! Stay tuned for the next post in a few months’ time to discover how that turns out…