Keep Calm And Lose On

First thing’s first, it’s time to share this week’s results:

Jenny: -2.0 lbs
Jason: -6.0 lbs

Weekly Total: -8.0 lbs
Monthly Total: -24.8 lbs

We’re doing great so far after taking so many months off because of the kitchen and our struggles coming back after it. I also had our leader pull out my weigh in history so that I could verify, and sure enough I’m back to actually loosing weight that I haven’t lost before. I’ve made up for the holiday season of 2011 and the Great Kitchen Debacle of 2012 and now I’m back to actually getting skinnier. The loss last night was actually enough to earn myself another 5 lb Star (a little mini-achievement awarded for every 5 lbs that you lose).

I haven’t been doing anything really special that we haven’t already talked about. Our losses this month I feel are 100% the result of Jenny pre-planning our meals and us sticking to it. In the past we’ve always done a lot of eating out, and I knew even then that we weren’t tracking enough points for it. We’d look things up and make our best estimates, but the results on the scale were a pretty clear indication when we had been tracking everything for weeks but still gaining weight, that we weren’t tracking the right amounts. Whether our portion sizes were off or the points values of the foods we ate versus the foods we tracked were just way off. I’d say that’s one of the major pitfalls of being in a small town filled with restaurants that don’t have nutritional information available is that you’re constantly guessing.

Recipes
We tried a few new recipes this week, and all but one of them actually turned out really well. Today I wanted to share two of those with you, and they both happen to be deserts. First we’ll look at some rich, super-yummy brownies and then we’ll look at a quick and easy, and low points, desert known as a “3-2-1 Cake”.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies <-Link
PointsPlus: 4 each (default); our modification 4-for-1 or 7-for-2
Servings: 16
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

The recipe calls for 3/4 cups of chopped walnuts, but I don't like nuts in my brownies and Jenny doesn't care for them either, so we substituted 3/4 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips which actually lowers the points just enough that if you have 2 brownies you’ll save a point compared to the default recipe. The recipe also says to line an 8″ baking pan with foil, but we saw no point in doing that so we didn’t and they turned out just fine. We also didn’t bother melting our butter and other ingredients down in a pan, we just nuked the butter to get it melted and then threw it in the mixing bowl with the other stuff.

Now, since you’re baking these in an 8″ square pan and it serves 16, that does mean that these are only going to be 1″ x 1″ x 1″ in size. They’re small, no doubt. However, they are also delicious, rich, super chocolaty and just plain freaking good! Even though they are small, Jenny felt that they really fixed that chocolate craving for her and she savored every bite.

“3-2-1 Cake”
PointsPlus: 2
Servings: 1
Prep Time: < 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute

To make the 3-2-1 Cake you need to buy two things: Angel Food Cake Mix, and one other cake mix of any flavor you like. Then you take those two cake mixes and mix them together into a single cake mix to get your 3-2-1 Mix. Most people keep the mix in a gallon zip lock, or similar kitchen container. Now, here's where those numbers come into play.

3 tbsp of your 3-2-1 Mix
2 tbsp Water
1 minute in the microwave

Mix the cake and water in a cup, we used coffee mugs, nuke it for 1 minute and just like that you've got yourself a 2 point cake.

When we first made this cake, we used a cherry chip and while it was decent it wasn't all that great. Our leader is the one that shared the recipe with us, so we followed the instructions that she gave us. When we found that the cherry chip wasn't all that great, we decided to modify the instructions just a bit. Instead of mixing the cake mixes together, we decided to put the Angel Food Mix in a container that sits on the counter, and then since we both like different flavors we keep the flavor mixes in their original box. This way, we can take 1.5 tbsp of the Angel Food and 1.5 tbsp of whatever flavor we want (since 3 tbsp of mixed mixes is just 1.5 tbsp of each) and we can both have the flavors we want without having to buy several boxes of angel food to mix with every flavor that we wanted to try.

Some people suggest putting whipped cream on the top, which we tried and it wasn't too bad. I tried to kick the cherry chip up a notch by dropping some mini-chocolate chips into it but they just fell through and melted at the bottom of the cup so that was pretty much a failure.

So far Jenny's favorite cake flavor with it is Lemon, and mine is probably Fudge. Our leader said the people in her other meetings say that Red Velvet is is the best, but we haven't tried it yet. Any cake mix you can find is viable for this recipe though, and it won't change the points up a bit. Anything you add to it, like whipped cream and whatnot will add points of course, but the mixes by themselves you should be able to swap around all you want.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fynralyl
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 09:58:25

    Those brownies really are rich and delicious! I take very small bites so I can savor it longer. Some add-ins we’re going to try in the next couple of batches, which won’t change the points value very much: caramel bits and Andes’ mint bits. Looking forward to giving one of the new flavors a try this weekend!

    Reply

  2. Robyn Denise
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 14:29:56

    I’ve made cake in a mug before, but low fat cake in a mug? Bonus! I will definitely be trying this, though it will probably be with french vanilla and some champagne extract (which I figure it zero points)

    Reply

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