Friday, June 4, 2010

The San Francisco Treat!

Rice A Roni (RAR) may seem like a silly food that doesn't have many good implications on a Weight Watchers plan, but I am here to prove that notion wrong. And it's not just because us Winos are here in Cable Car City. I have always been a fan of doctoring up recipes to make them more rounded out and balanced and this boxed rice/pasta product falls perfectly in line with that practice.

For example, take a simple and seemingly boring box of RAR "Mexican Style". The directions tell us to just add water and oil or butter -- but don't take that at face value. Always skip the butter/oil and use nonfat cooking spray instead. The added fat is totally not necessary for taste here because you get it from the spice flavor packet. I add a bunch of Weight Watchers-friendly ingredients to make it a meal in a bowl! Sauté up chicken chunks, add a can of diced tomatoes to substitute one of the cups of water, mild green chilies and a can of black or pinto beans, and you have an instant, low-point and filling fiesta! (To calculate the points, just keep track of everything you decide to add in, add it all up, and divide by the number of servings you portion it out to)

But it doesn't stop there. Another one of my RAR faves is the Broccoli Au Gratin. Usually "gratin" is a danger word in Weight Watchers speak. But here, it is a low point, cheesy treat. I add chicken breast and fresh broccoli to mine, and again, it is a healthy, filling and flavorful bowl of goodness.

I went on to the RAR website today for the first time and am amazed by all the options there are. Next up, I want to do an Italian version with zucchini and mushrooms, as well as try the fried rice by adding peas and egg whites. There are a bunch of pasta options too! What RAR will you doctor up?

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