I made Taco Soup over the rainy weekend, a recipe I copied down at Weight Watcher’s last week. It’s basically pinto beans, hominy, canned tomatoes with chiles and a packet of taco seasoning.The leader said the entire recipe was 63 WW points value. It looked to me like it would yield 5.5 quarts, thus 11 2-cup servings would be 5 points each. She said it was 8 servings, so a serving would be 8 points. (I had to leave out one can of beans and 2 cups of water due to the size of my crockpot, about 3.5 quarts.)
I thought it would be easy to do the math and get to the truth. I looked up 90% lean ground beef for the three numbers Weight Watcher’s uses.
|90% lean ground beef pound||798||0||45||21|
My first problem is my WW slide rule for points values does not go up to 45 grams of fat, or even to half that. Dividing the calories and fat into thirds, I arrived at the numbers above. When a recipe calls for a pound of ground beef, I use one bag of recipe crumbles, 12 oz. I don’t know what the equivalent of a pound is, but a pound of ground beef might cook down to about the same size as 3/4 pound of crumbles, because the crumbles will have less shrinkage due to fat separation.
Has anyone conducted an skillet beside skillet comparison?
Here are the Morningstar Farm Recipe Crumbles compared with 12 ounces of 90% lean ground beef:
|Crumbles 12 oz.||480||18||15||10|
|Beef 12 oz.||599||0||34||14|
It’s easy to see the recipe crumbles save points two ways: they have far fewer calories and they have more fiber. Using the Weight Watcher’s points value calculation, one cannot count more than 4 grams of fiber per serving. The points in the chart above recognize the four-gram limit. However, no one is going to eat 12 ounces of burger crumbles or 96 ounces of taco soup! I’m at a loss to calculate either the whole pot of soup points or the points in one serving.
Conclusion: In a spicy dish like chili or taco soup, your omnivorous friends are unlikely to miss real ground beef, especially the 90% lean variety. The crumbles will make the dish less greasy, and a solid white film will not form over the refrigerated leftovers. (The film would be solidified saturated fat from meat.) Save yourself huge calories by enjoying MSF Recipe Crumbles, in the freezer aisle near Boca Burgers.
*Weight Watcher’s, Points Value, Morningstar Farms, yada yada, are all trademarks of their respective companies.