Weight Watchers #biteintolife Dinner

November 3, 2014

Gorg Tablescape
The Menu!
A few weeks ago I was invited to a unique fall pop-up dinner hosted by Weight Watchers. I actually have a personal connection to Weight Watchers having lost 40 pounds on the plan. I still use Weight Watcher tools and I've found it always gives me room to eat whatever I want. That's the real difference between Weight Watchers and a lot of other plans--it's a lifestyle change, not a diet!

Some of the Dinner Guests
Anywho, the dinner was co-hosted by blogger Danielle Moss and was held at Centered Chef's West Loop space. I had a great time mingling with the other guests which included some of Danielle's friends, as well as local bloggers and dietitians. Our entire meal was prepared by Weight Watcher's first chef, Ryan Hutmacher who competed against five other culinary professionals to win the title. We had a delicious three course meal, plus an amuse bouche. The entire menu was Weight Watchers friendly and super seasonal!

Chef Ryan
Scallop BLT Slider with Prosciutto and Avocado Aioli
Crispy Fish Fritter with Roasted Cauliflower Chowder
Chicken with Grape Glaze, Gingered Sweet Potato Puree, and Green Beans
Pear Quinoa Crumble
My favorite course was the dessert (shocker)! The Pear Quinoa Crumble was not too sweet and you'd have no idea there wasn't a drop of butter in the recipe. The dinner was a great way to experience the wide variety of foods that can be a part of one's Weight Watchers weight loss plan.

Check out some of the recipes below and let me know if you try any of them at home! Thank you so much Weight Watchers for a great evening!


Crispy Fish Fritter with Roasted Cauliflower Chowder 
Servings: 8
6 PointsPlus Values

Fish Fritter
4 tsp dried millet seeds 
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz (volume) or 4 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs

16 oz halibut or cod
8 tsp all-purpose flour 
2 egg white
4 tsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Roasted Vegetables
16 oz scallions, left whole, root removed
16 oz baby carrots with tops, cut into 1/8" thick coins
12 oz fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/8" thick coins
5 tsp olive oil

Roasted Cauliflower Chowder
20 oz or 1 extra large cauliflower, raw,trimmed, cut into small florets
8 cups chicken stock
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1.5 tsp fresh thyme, finely minced
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
6 Tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
Salt & pepper to taste

Fish Fritter
Preheat oven to 375o F.

Meanwhile, to make the breading, preheat sauté pan over medium heat. Add the dried millet seed and toast for 45-60 seconds until you hear small crackling noises.  Remove from the heat, cool, then add to a food processor, pulsing until coarsely ground.  Add to it Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs, until a course powder is formed.  Hold aside in a shallow container for later use. 

In two similar size containers, portion separately the egg whites and flour.

Blot the boneless fish portions to remove excess moisture.  Season the fish pieces evenly with salt and pepper, then lightly dredge it in the flour, egg whites and millet breading.  This step should happen within 30 minutes of being ready to cook the fish.

Heat sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and immediately place the fish fritters in the pan, gently browning for 60 seconds, until golden brown on all sides.  Finish in a 375o F oven, baking for 15 minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower Chowder 
Preheat oven to 375o F.

In a bowl, toss the scallions, carrots and fingerling potatoes evenly, in the allotted oil, and season with salt. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spread the veggies and potatoes out evenly. Place in oven for 8-10 minutes at 375o F with convection fan on in order to lightly brown. Remove from oven.  
On another parchment-lined cookie sheet, prepare the cauliflower by spreading out the small florets (no oil added). Bake at 375o F for 10-12 minutes with convection fan on, until edges are golden brown.

While the cauliflower bakes, portion the roasted scallions into bundles, by wrapping them into little circular nests, and put aside until ready for recipe assembly. Keep the carrots and potatoes covered and warm until ready to finish the dish.

Remove cauliflower from the oven and place into a sauce pot covering chicken stock, adding garlic, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Remove bay leaves, add Greek yogurt and puree the cauliflower with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor (must have a vent to allow steam to escape, cover opening with a towel for safety).  Puree should be completely creamy with a thick soup consistency.


Gingered Sweet Potato Puree with Tart Apple (yields exactly 2 cups)

Recipe is 3 PointsPlus Values with 1/2 cup portion per person

1 lb. peeled sweet potatoes, diced large
1/2 gallon water
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
1/2 cup hot water, reserved from potato cooking liquid
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup all-natural apple sauce
Pinch of salt, to taste

Bring water to a boil and season with Kosher salt.  Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 25 minutes, then strain once they are fork-tender.  Mash the cooked sweet potatoes and add the ginger, red wine vinegar and apple sauce, until mix until creamy.  For really smooth sweet potatoes, use a food processor to puree.

Char Grilled Green Beans with Orange Zest and Sea Salt 
Servings: 8 
2 PointsPlus Values

4 pounds green beans, whole, ends trimmed (4 pounds yields approximately 12 cups)
8 tsp olive oil
Sea Salt & pepper to taste
Orange zest, garnish to taste 

Once trimmed and rinsed, drain and dry the beans with a paper towel. 

Preheat a grill or grill pan on medium heat for 10 minutes.  In a large bowl combine olive oil and green beans, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss until well coated. 

Working in batches, and keeping them in straight rows, grill the green beans on high heat until crisp-tender and lightly marked from the grill or grill pan, about 4-5 minutes. Once it’s placed on a serving platter, add zest as garnish.

The Perfect Chicken Breast with Roasted Grape Glaze 
Servings: 8
4 PointsPlus Values

The Perfect Chicken Breast
2 lbs chicken breast, boneless and skinless (4 oz portion per person)
1 1/3 Tbsp olive oil

Roasted Grape Glaze
2 cups red flame, seedless grapes, halved
1 Tbsp shallots, thinly sliced
½ tsp thyme, fresh, minced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

The Perfect Chicken Breast
Place the portioned chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a plastic zip-top bag and gently pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness. Remove the pounded chicken breasts and blot them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, then season both sides with salt and pepper.

At the same time, preheat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add olive oil to the skillet and immediately cook the flattened chicken breasts, about 4-5 minutes on the first side, achieving golden brown color.  Once you notice a white halo beginning to envelope the visible sides of the chicken, it is then time to flip the chicken breast, and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until it develops a consistent golden brown color. The internal temperature should reach a minimum of 165o F.

Roasted Grape Glaze
Heat a non-stick sauté pan over a low heat. Place the grapes onto the pan, and cover for 3 minutes, or until very soft. Remove the lid or allow half of the moisture of the grapes to evaporate.

Transfer the roasted grapes to a food processor and add shallots, thyme, balsamic and mustard. Blend together until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Pear Quinoa Crumble 
Servings: 10
4 PointsPlus Values

*Each serving is a 4 oz soufflé or ramekin filled to the top with apple mixture with crumble portioned evenly on top then baked.

Apple Filling
5 pears, peeled and sliced thin
½ tsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 Tbsp sugar, granulated
½ tsp cinnamon, ground

Crumble Topping
½ tsp quinoa cereal flakes
¼ cup all-purpose gluten free flour blend
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven 350o F.

Combine the sliced apples with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumble topping and mix until well incorporated.

Fill 4 oz. ramekins with the apple mixture and lightly cover the top with the crumble topping. Place the ramekins on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, rotating the pan half way through. Let cool for several minutes before serving.

Photo Credit: Matthew Reeves


  1. You actually toast quinoa flour at home! You can just use any regular quinoa flour and then toast it either in a dry skillet over very low heat OR you can do it in the oven. Just wait until it gets golden brown and a little fragrant. Enjoy!

  2. What a great idea! I’ve never tried this but now have it on my list for this weekend.


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