May 10 Recipe: From Shake in the bag Chicken to Onion Dip

Renewing Retro Recipes: From Shake in the bag Chicken to Onion Dip-Weight Watchers Celebrates 50 Years


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    • Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary cookbook

    • Image of first WW cookbook

    • Shake in the Bag Chicken

    • Coleslaw

    • Creamy Onion Dip with cut up fresh veggies (carrots, celery, etc)



In early May, Weight Watchers celebrates 50 years of helping people lose weight. In 1961, when a housewife from Queens NY, Jean Nidetch, invited a small circle of overweight friends to her home and conducted what would be a blueprint for WW meetings worldwide, she had no idea she was on to something big.


While the plan may have changed through the years, the one element that has always remained the same is the philosophy that support and sharing success with a group of likeminded individuals is the key to healthy weight loss-a core belief that continues to this day in Weight Watchers meetings. Of course with today's Weight Watchers you can track your Points values on your smart Phone and scan food labels at the super market and stay plugged in on your computer between meetings via e-tools. Not only tracking your food but staying plugged in with other members online.


Now Let's talk about the changes to the food program:


In the 1960's the WW Program required one liver meal and three fish meals a week. Today with Weight Watchers 360, no foods are off-limits and surprisingly, you can eat anything you like -just keeping in mind portion size. Weight Watchers is celebrating 50 years of helping millions lose weight with the launch of its "Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook." This brand new cookbook, gives modern makeovers to treasured recipe favorites with fresh ingredients. It's a collection of best-loved recipes with a modern twist.


Let's take a look at some of those old WW recipes and how we can update them remember those commercials for oven-fried chicken coating mix, so common in the seventies? Little did we know how easy it was to make our own version-with much less sodium and fresher flavorings. Best of all, our mix turns simple skinless chicken breasts positively delicious. Enjoy the chicken hot or cold.


Shake-in-the Bag Chicken

Serves 4 PPV per serving: 6 (1 breast half)

2/3 cup cornflake crumbs

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 tsp onion powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 bone in chicken breast halves, skinned (about 2 pounds)

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

  2. Combine the cornflake crumbs, flour, paprika, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and cumin in large zip close plastic bag. Shake the bag to evenly coat the chicken to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces; discard any remaining coating mixture.

  3. Bake until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the each breast registers 165 degrees, 35-40 minutes.


In 1966, Weight Watchers members were satisfied to make coleslaw with shredded cabbage tossed with a dressing that included mustard, nonfat dry-milk powder, and a little artificial sweetener. We may never know just how satisfied they were with that versions but today's version is tangy and authentic-tasting and a delicious twenty first century version.



Serves 4 PPV: 2 (1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon reduced fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar

3 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 small (1-pound) green cabbage, shredded 4 cups

2 carrots, peeled and grated

1 small onion, minced (optional)

Whisk together mayo, vinegar, and yogurt. Oil, mustard, sugar, celery seeds, salt and pepper in a large non-reactive bowl. Add the cabbage, carrots and onion, if using, to the bowl; toss to coat evenly. Serve at once, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours (add the onion just before serving).


In the 1960's California Dipa high fat, high sodium combo of sour cream and onion soup usually accompanied a bowl of equally high fat, high sodium potato chips-and took the nation by storm. The good news is that are from scratch version served with healthful veggies gives you tons of great onion flavor without sacrificing taste or your weight loss efforts.


Creamy Onion Dip

Serves 8



2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion chopped

1/4 cup water

1 beef bouillon cube

1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup light mayo

2teaspoons fresh lemon juice

4 cups assorted veggies (such as carrots, celery, and bell peppers) cut up


  1. Heat a large non -stick skillet over medium heat. Swirl in the oil, and then add the onion. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until softened about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, uncover and cook, stirring frequently until onion is very soft and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Spoon the onion onto a plate. Add the water to a skillet and crumble the bouillon cube, stirring until the cube dissolves. Let the onion and broth stand until cool about 20 minutes.

  2. Stir together the onion, broth, yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, and salt in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days



Close: After 50 years the weight Watchers philosophy lives on..Weight Watchers weight loss system is built on four pillars to ensure healthy, sustained weight loss: We believe that to lose weight safely and sensibly, a person must learn to eat healthier, increase physical activity, create and live in a supportive environment conducive to achieving a healthy weight, and manage the challenges involved in changing behaviors. While the elements of individual weight-loss programs have changed over the years, these fundamental principles, which have been based on years of scientific research and analysis and decades of experience, have not.


The new 50th Anniversary is available in bookstores everywhere on April 30th .. And if you are ready to get started losing weight you can visit a Weight watchers meeting for free at any time. Visit for the meeting nearest you.







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