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My Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes- Feel Full With Tex-Mex!

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Rose Mary's mother and all of her aunts are great Southern cooks. She likes to think she's not so bad herself.

If you’ve read other articles in my Weight Watchers series, you may recall that I’ve always had a big appetite. It is possible to eat healthy, lose weight, but feel full. This is my second set of large portion, feel full recipes. They are all low calorie, low fat, and relatively low carb recipes. These are my modifications of Weight Watchers Quick Start cookbook recipes, based on the old exchanges.

The terminology here is based on the old Weight Watchers exchange program. You could get a copy of the Quick Start book or you can read my original Weight Watchers article for some insight into how flexible a diet can be, and still be successful. I also included basic information on what constitutes a serving in my original article.

The exchange system is a lot like a diabetic exchange diet. Under the Weight Watchers Quick Start Program, women’s daily exchanges are 3 fruit, 2 milk, 2 bread, 3 fat, 6 protein and at least 2 vegetables. I tweaked my program a bit per my food preferences. Men get 4 fruit, 2 milk, 4 bread, 3 fat, 8 protein, and at least 2 vegetables.

If you are a big eater, I hope you enjoy these recipes that offer big portions so you can feel full.

Recipes in this article:

  • Chili
  • Chili-Cheese Pie
  • Spanish Rice

This chili offers up a feel full big portion that I’ve prepared and eaten many, many times. I listed optional spices similar to my spices in my vegetarian chili, because I love that flavor profile. Plus, spices have many health benefits.


4 servings of 3 protein and 3 vegetable exchanges.


  • 1 c diced onions
  • 1 c diced green peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10 oz lean ground beef (8 oz when cooked and drained)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (12 oz) tomato juice
  • 1 c pureed carrots (to boost nutrition and portion size)
  • ½ Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • (Optional spices: ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp coriander, ½ tsp cardamom, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg)
  • 1 can pinto beans or red kidney beans, drained (or leftover dried beans)
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked macaroni (optional)


  1. Brown ground beef in skillet. You can add the onions, peppers, and garlic, and sauté without additional oil. Drain. Add to crock pot or 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven pot.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato juice. Stir to combine.
  3. Add spices and seasoning. Stir to combine.
  4. Add beans.
  5. Simmer for 2 hours on the stove, or 6 to 8 hours on low in crock pot.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve with ½ cup cooked macaroni. Count 1 bread exchange per serving.
  • Serve with 1 oz cheese. Count 1 protein and 1 fat per serving.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread. Count 1 bread exchange per 1 oz serving.
Chili Cheese Pie with "free" vegetable toppings

Chili Cheese Pie with "free" vegetable toppings

This yummy recipe tastes like more. Serve it with a large salad and you’ll be full. Or do like I did above in the photo: top with lettuce and tomato.

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4 servings, each with 3 protein, 1 bread, 1 fat and 1 vegetable exchange.


  • 1 c chopped onion
  • ½ c chopped peppers
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 10 oz lean ground beef (8 oz when cooked and drained)
  • 2 chopped mild green chilies, available in can or jar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp tomato paste (available in tubes)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 oz cheddar cheese
  • ¾ c all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp butter


  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Brown ground beef in skillet. You can add the onions, peppers, and garlic, and sauté without additional oil. Drain.
  3. Add chilies, tomato paste, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Cook about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer meat mixture to a 9” pie pan.
  5. Sprinkle meat mixture with cheese.
  6. Combine flour, baking soda, butter, milk, and eggs in a blender.
  7. Pour batter over meat mixture.
  8. Bake about 30 minutes, until batter is golden brown.
Weight Watchers Spanish Rice with lots of onion and peppers

Weight Watchers Spanish Rice with lots of onion and peppers

I ate this Spanish rice many times without meat for a big filling lunch, but with chicken, it is a robust supper. Serve with a salad.


2 servings of about 1 ¾ cups, with 2 protein, 2 bread, 3 vegetable, and 1 fat exchange each.


  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 c chopped bell pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1 tsp chicken powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cardamom (optional)
  • ¼ tsp coriander (optional)
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 oz diced chicken
  • 2 c cooked rice
  • 2 oz small white beans
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)


  1. Sauté onion, bell peppers, and garlic in oil.
  2. Add tomatoes, water, chicken powder, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add chicken and beans. Stir to combine. Heat an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add rice. Stir to combine. Heat an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with cilantro if desired.

Weight Watchers Quick Start Plus Cookbook

How Food Exchanges Work

© 2010 rmcrayne


Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on March 27, 2014:

Voted up and useful! Some tasty looking, spicy dishes! I always love a bit of spice in my dinner, as well as a big portion!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on July 23, 2010:

Thanks Paradise. These are great for when you want to feel truly full.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on July 21, 2010:

Thank you so much, RM. Definitely I was looking for more weight watcher recipes, as I've put on more pounds since the new year than I can justify and have to start over with dieting again. These are food I like and eat anyway; especially chili and Spanish rice, so it's great to have lo-cal recipes for these foods. Thanks again!!!

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