Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Weight Watching, 1978 style

Ugh! January is now here in earnest, and it cannot be over soon enough! If I could just hibernate, there would be no more posts until April or so.

Extra time to look at old cookbooks can at least help to make up for my inability to hibernate, and January resolutions continue to give me a good excuse to keep checking out old diet books. I am secretly in love with old diet books because I am endlessly fascinated by wtf dieters would substitute for the off-limits foods they craved.

Case in point: pancakes. Want some? Too bad, because they have too many carbs and not enough protein. Solution (all of today's solutions are from Weight Watchers New Program Cookbook by Jean Nidetch, 1978):

Yogurt Pancakes! Just egg and unflavored yogurt with a teaspoon of flour and a dash of salt. Add a bit of wishful thinking, and perhaps you won't realize that this is basically just a scrambled egg.

If you are hard-core into dairy, these might be more your style:

Cottage Cheese Pancakes top a mostly-egg-and-cottage-cheese mixture with plain yogurt! Sure to be a delightfully bland dairy overload.

Some recipes just leave me mystified. What kind of an occasion would call for this?

Equal amounts of unseasoned kidney or white beans and cooked pumpkin pureed together and then heated? Is it supposed to be a soup? A sauce? Caulk? The thought of the thick graininess of the pureed beans with the slight sweetness of the pumpkin and no salt or seasonings to tip the balance toward savory or sweet or any real flavor tickles my gag reflex.

If there is one theme that runs through the book, though (and I won't say anything about whether a pun is intended), it is prunes in places where they don't belong. (Granted, I think the only place they really belong is the grocery store where people who are not myself can buy them, but I suspect even those people would not use prunes as Jean Nidetch instructs.)

Let's start with an easier one:

If you like eating sweet omelets, then maybe folding some prune puree into your scrambled egg sounds at least reasonable.

If you are really, really concerned about fiber:

Combine beans and prunes! I doubt Nidetch would have approved of Fruit 'n Fibre cereal when it came out-- what with the added sugar-- but I'll bet it made this basic idea a whole lot more palatable.

If weird salads are your thing:

Mix prunes, curried rice, and green peppers in a yogurt/mayo sauce...

Or if you just straight-up want to make my skin crawl, go all the way:

Mix sauerkraut and prunes.

Dana Andrews and I will be clutching our torsos and whimpering. If I'm feeling generous, I might give you extra credit points if you figure out why I dragged Dana Andrews into this.

Happy Wednesday! Stay away from the prunes and just enjoy some semi-obscure cult movie references instead. They're calorie-free!


  1. Ha ha! Great stuff - dying to find out about Dana...

  2. I think that Bean & Pumpkin Puree is definitely part of the a late night double feature picture RKO. Have a great 3 day weekend! :D

    1. That's right! Dana Andrews said prunes gave him the runes in "Science Fiction-Double Feature"!