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Healthy & Yummy Faves and Finds

FIVE Veggie Upgrades and Meal Ideas

Steamed broccoli won’t stop me from reaching for hubby’s pizza, but if I have delicious veggies already prepared, it’s a breeze to stick to Simple Start and feel the Power Foods Love!

I hope you’ll be inspired by my quick and easy Veggie Upgrades and satisfying Weight Watchers Simple Start meals!

Quick Cauliflower Curry and other easy veggies from OrnaBakes



Simple Roasted Winter Veggies

1 sweet potato, 1 yam, and 4 carrots: peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Spray half sheet pan covered with olive oil cooking spray. Spread out veggies in a single layer and spray them with cooking spray. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roast at 425 degree F for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown. They’ll be sweet and a little caramelized—yummm!


Turn into a Heart-Warming Winter Salad

Toss Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce and Radicchio (or greens of your choice) with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil or Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette (0 WW PP for 2 tablespoons). Top with warm veggies, Turkey Meatballs, halved (Trader Joe’s frozen – 3 WW PP for 2 meatballs), and Parmesan Cheese (1 WW PP for 1 tablespoon) or kick it up a notch with Trader Joe’s Shaved Cheese Blend. (3 WW PP for 2 tablespoons)

This is Mr. Picky’s FAVORITE lunch!

Turkey Meatball Salad


TIP: We LOVE slightly sweet and bodacious (can you call vinegar bodacious?), Gourmet Blends Traditional Balsamic Vinegar! I can’t wait for my salad every night because this vinegar is SO special! It’s somewhere between a reduction (like Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze) and a regular balsamic. Just sweet and thick enough! (And it’s ZERO points!)

Gourmet Blends at Farmer's Market


I get mine at the Calabasas Farmer’s Market, but you can purchase them online at >>


Mushroom Madness

Sauté sliced mushrooms in a nonstick skillet sprayed with Olive Oil spray; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for 8 – 10 minutes.

TIP: Crimini Mushrooms (Baby Portabellas) are meatier and more flavorful than Button Mushrooms, but either will work.

Sauteed Mushrooms in pan

Make it a Mixed Grill

This is my go-to, Power Foods, slim-down-fast meal!

Add a Boca Original Vegan Veggie Burger, fried egg and sautéed tomato and onion slices cooked in cooking spray in a nonstick skillet. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce and/or mix ketchup and Worcestershire for dipping.

– or –

Guilt-Free Pasta

Add Baby Spinach and Barilla Plus Spaghetti or Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Quinoa Fusilli Pasta, a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese for a light and healthy Pasta Entree. (You’ll only be paying points for the Parmesan: 1 WW PP for 2 tablespoons)

– or –

Polenta Topping

Polenta is a great way to get a comfort-carb fix, without the guilt!

Sauté slices of Polenta (Trader Joe’s carries a great one alongside the pasta, or San Gennaro Foods at most markets) and top with a fried egg (or two), sautéed mushrooms and (of course) a little Parmesan!

TIP: San Gennaro Foods, ready-made Three Cheese Polenta ROCKS!

So far I’ve only found it in the freezer at Gelsons Market in California

San Gennaro Three Cheese Polenta

3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus, Gluten Free


Quick Cauliflower Curry

If you’re a curry-head like me, you will LOVE this super-easy, fat free Indian food fix!

 Quick Cauliflower Curry - fat free and delicious from OrnaBakes #weightwatchers


Microwave 12 oz bag cauliflower until very tender. Mix 1/2 – 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon chicken flavor soup (recommended: Telma), 1 tablespoon hot water, pinch Splenda (or sugar), salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the cauliflower and mash with a potato masher to desired texture; mix well. Taste for seasoning and add salt or more curry powder to your taste.

Note: You can substitute low sodium chicken broth for the soup mix and water.

Spice it up with Salsa!

No cutting and chopping veggies here!

Heat 1/2 cup mild salsa (I use Trader Joe’s Chunky Salsa) with the sauce ingredients in a non-stick skillet. Add par-cooked cauliflower; cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced. Add more water/broth and/or Splenda if necessary. Garnish with Cilantro.

Cauliflower Curry with Salsa

Make it a meal

Serve over Brown Rice with a Trader Joe’s Curry Masala Veggie Burger (3 WW PP)


Sautéed Broccoli-Slaw (Asian-Style)

This is one of my favorite recipe creations that I lived on when I first joined Weight Watchers. It’s very satisfying—and your kids will love it too!

Kid-Friendly Broccoli Slaw

Saute 12 oz Broccoli Slaw in a large non-stick skillet sprayed with canola or vegetable cooking spray over medium heat for about 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until limp. Meanwhile, stir 1 teaspoon chicken flavor soup (recommended: Telma), 3 – 4 shakes of ground ginger, a pinch of Splenda (or sugar) and 2 teaspoons Low Sodium soy sauce into 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir into broccoli slaw, lower heat and cover. Check occasionally, adding more water if necessary. Simmer about 10 – 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and sauce has been absorbed. Check for seasoning and add more soy sauce or splenda if needed.

Note: You can substitute low sodium chicken broth for the soup mix and water.

Make it a meal

Add shredded roast chicken

– or –

Top Your Turkey Burgers!

Click here for my Back-On-Track Bunless Turkey Burgers with Bone Suckin’ Spice >>


Zucchini Parmesan

Slice two large zucchini in half lengthwise and place cut side up in a casserole dish with a tablespoon of water. Microwave for 3 – 4 minutes until soft and tender. Remove from dish and turn over to drain well. Spray with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray and sprinkle with salt and Parmesan cheese. (2 tablespoons Parmesan = 1 PointsPlus)


Make it a meal

Add a Gardenburger Portabella Burger (my fav) on the side (2 PointsPlus) or a Boca Original Vegan Veggie Burger to keep it all WW Power Foods. (Weight Watchers Simple Start)


I hope this inspires you to try something new! Let me know what you make…

And please SHARE  with your Weight Watchers friends!



Click here for more info on the new Weight Watchers Simple Start program >>

Click here for Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with WW Power Foods and PointsPlus values) >>

Picture of Orna
Orna Purkin is a foodie, a baker and the creator of OrnaBakes—where healthy meets yummy. Orna turned her passion for food into something to cherish instead of something to fear. On a constant journey of self-discovery and personal growth, Orna hopes to inspire you to be kinder to yourself, find more joy and bake!

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for all the tips. I have just started back to WW and this all comes in so handy. I will have to pass your name around at the meeting but on the QT in case the leader doesn’t appreciate that, what do you think?

    1. Yes, PLEEEZ tell your WW peeps about OrnaBakes Faye!! I would SO appreciate it. These blogs are ALL about sharing – which thankfully people are finally starting to do for me. I don’t think the leader will mind if YOU mention it – as long as it doesn’t come from her. Let me know what happens! And thank you so much again for your support. 🙂

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