Taste of Home is sponsoring a company weight loss program based on our new cookbook, The Comfort Food Diet. I asked one of the participants, Associate Web Editor Heather Gergen, to share with us her journey to a healthier lifestyle.
When you work at a food magazine, almost every day is like a potluck. There are leftover cookies from a tasting, leftover pizza from a meeting, a new brownie recipe that someone tried. I know, poor me. But the temptations are endless.
One of the hard things when you are on a diet in any workplace is the office potluck. Everyone usually brings their best recipes to show off and they’re usually quite decadent. Then, the leftovers sit around the office for you to graze upon throughout the day. A cookie here, a cookie there…five cookies later you’re sitting around wondering why the cookies disappeared.
One of my co-workers on the A-Team decided to put a new spin on the potluck last week – a Comfort Food Diet potluck. We could indulge in the office potluck guilt-free, while trying recipes from the cookbook. We were all encouraged to make something that we haven’t tried before or something that was a hit with our families.
Everyone who participated was supposed to bring a recipe from the book along with a serving utensil or measuring cup to get the correct serving size. We each wrote a note stating the recipe name, page number, serving size and number of calories.
Zesty Sloppy Joes
249 cal. per 1/2 cup serving (includes buns)
125 cal per 1/4 cup serving (includes 1/2 bun)
If possible, we tried to offer the item in smaller servings so we could try different recipes while staying within the lunch guidelines of under 450 calories.
Only six people showed up for the potluck, but it was a lot of fun trying all of the recipes. I’d love to do it again with an even bigger crowd.
Here are a few of my favorites from the potluck:
BBQ Ranch Salad – I liked this one a lot. I think I will be making it in the future for my lunch. It was tasty and didn’t have that low-cal salad dressing taste.
Granola Fudge Clusters – Chocolaty, crunchy goodness. The person who made these halved each serving so that we could have more than one. I saved mine for a 2 p.m. snack.
Chicken Chili – I made this one. I had just returned from vacation, so I had to choose a recipe that I had everything on hand for.
I decided in the morning to make two batches — one for the potluck and one for dinner for my family that night. I just didn’t eat any during the potluck. It worked out great. I highly recommend this tactic when cooking for a work potluck. Then, you get lunch and dinner done in a snap. I ended up having enough leftovers from the work potluck that I was able to provide dinner for my in-laws that night, as well. They loved it.
What I Made This Week
One of my walking buddies here at work has been raving about the Easy Arroz Con Pollo. Her son requests it when he comes home from college on the weekend. My son loves it now, too.
It is so easy to make. Rice, chicken and sauce all go in a casserole dish and bake. No pre-cooking the rice or anything. A perfect dish for a weeknight.
I also made the Asian Shrimp Soup and put it in single-serving dishes for lunch. It is low calorie (111 cal) and has been soothing my sore throat. Also, it contains shrimp, so it works well for lent.
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