Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Something Borrowed

A friend and co-worker recently introduced me to the idea of "strategies". Strategies, how we deal with challenging situations, can apply to parenting, our careers, sports and more. We've all used them, so you might wonder why an introduction was needed. The particular context my friend and fellow Weight Watchers member was talking about though, was a corporate holiday party, where peril (from a Weight Watchers perspective, at least) seemed to be lurking around every corner.

From the plethora of decadent appetizer and desert selections to the open bar, at first blush, it seemed highly unlikely I would make it through the day with any daily (or weekly, for that matter) Weight Watchers points to spare. I knew that, should I give in and start sampling or sipping, the end result wouldn't be what I wanted it to be. Thankfully though, while I didn't have a strategy, my friend did. We simply walked around, mingled, talked, sipped our water or diet pop, and used our mouths to converse instead of consume. It wasn't until the party was mostly over that we each picked out one small, especially delectable-looking tidbit to end the day with.

The experience gave me a better appreciation for the importance of strategies. From a Weight Watcher perspective, strategies need to encompass our own behavioral tendencies while leveraging the 'toolkits' we've built up over time. In a past blog, I shared some of the tips and tricks in my own toolkit. Other valued 'tools' I continue to collect are new recipes and cooking techniques, which I often integrate into newer recipes that become part of the strategy du jour.

Today's case in point: New Years Eve. How do you navigate the many perils of a night dedicated to celebratory revelry, and the food and drink that usually accompanies such revelry? In my case, my strategy was multi-fauceted. First of all, my wife and I decided to stay home (versus going out), which left us in control of the menu. Stocking the larder with Weight Watchers power foods, including tale-on shrimp and fresh fruit, also factored into our New Years Eve strategy. Finally, I came up with a delicious new recipe that helped us navigate the evening's perils without expending a week's worth of Weight Watchers points.

That said, I hope you enjoy the latest addition to my toolkit.....  

Roasted Veggie & Goat Cheese Mini-Pizzas


1 cup Tomato sauce, canned
1 cup Canned diced tomatoes
½ cup Onion, uncooked, diced
1 Tbsp Dried basil 
1 tsp Dried oregano
1 tsp Sugar
¾ tsp Pepper, black
1 tsp Minced garlic
2 small Zucchini, raw, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1 medium Peppers, sweet , yellow, raw, cut into bite-size segments/slices
1 medium Onion, red, raw, cut into bite-size segments/pieces
5 sprays Cooking spray, olive oil
1 Tbsp Dried thyme
1 Tbsp Sea salt
4 items Muffin, English (any type)
4 oz Cheese, goat, soft type


Rinse sweet pepper , red onion  and zucchini. Slice the zucchini in 1/4" thick rounds. Slice the sweet pepper  and onion  into bite-size segments. Spray olive oil spray on a cookie sheet, spread the veggies on the sheet and spray the veggies with olive oil. Sprinkle the veggies with thyme, fresh-ground pepper and sea salt, and roast in the oven at 375F for ◴ 40 minutes.

While the veggies are roasting, combine the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with liquid), diced onion , basil , oregano, minced garlic, sugar and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ◴ 10 minutes, set aside.

Split 4 English muffins and coat each half with ~3-4 tbsp. of the set aside, homemade pizza sauce. Spread ~1 tbsp. goat cheese on each muffin half, add roasted onions , sweet peppers  and 4 zucchini rounds atop each mini pizza, and finish each off with a small dollop (~1/4 tsp.) of goat cheese atop each zucchini round. Spray another cookie sheet or large baking pan with olive oil and roast the mini pizzas for ◴ 20 mins. @375F. Serve warm.

Makes 8 mini-pizzas/serving, 4 WW Points+ per serving.
A note to social media users: Here is a sample tweet you can use to share this recipe:

Additional acknowledgements: Portions of the above recipe were adapted from an older recipe for pizza sauce from Better Homes & Gardens (, and an oven roasted vegetables recipe from Weight Watchers (

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