Reading Ellen’s previous post about Bacon Caves made me a little bit hungry, and here is the reason: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BACON … not in rock formation, but in crispy, crunchy, glorious-cut-of-pork formation. In fact, my little bacon addiction might be part of the reason I finally joined my local Weight Watchers group. However, before I was willing to join, I had to find out the answer to this question: “Will I have to give up bacon?” Happily, the answer was, “No, but you will have to count it.” Okay, then I’m in. So, now I still eat bacon, but in moderation. Have you heard the quote, “Moderation in all things?” I am thinking about creating a little embroidered panel that says “Moderation in all things, darn it.”
The good news is that Weight Watchers worked, bacon and all. I am pretty sure that I will reach my goal this week, after six months of bacon-moderated breakfasts! So, if you have ever wondered if you can be successful with Weight Watchers and still eat bacon, the answer is, “Hallelujah, yes.” (Although, I’m pretty sure my weekly meeting advisor will have a word with me about my bacon blog post. Admittedly, I haven’t been to a meeting yet, during which we shared bacon recipes.)
But, back to bacon love. Above is a picture I found of one of our weekend breakfasts after a football game. Note the bowl brimming with bacon. (And, yes, I think those are chocolate chip cookies right behind it. What can I say, I think I was in some kind of temporary mind-control grip from one of my teenagers. But to my credit, I did try to sneak a little fruit onto the table.)
I digress. Back to the pork. As a full-fledged bacon specialist, I would like to share three things with you: (1) a list of our favorite brands of bacon, in case you haven’t had the chance to compare and contrast. (2) Some tips gleaned from many years of bacon preparation. (3) Some tricks I have used to control my bacon addiction while fully embracing the Weight Watchers healthy eating style.
Favorite Bacon Brands from a Bacon Connoisseur
I think our favorite bacon is Applegate’s Sunday Bacon. It is nitrite-free, which always makes me feel as though I am serving up a big platter of “healthy” bacon, which is perfectly delicious at the same time. It’s not as thick as our favorite thick-sliced bacon, but it’s not too thin, either. If it had been served in The Three Bears’ house, it would have been ‘just right.’ Another favorite is Wright‘s Applewood Bacon. Sometimes, we have even bought the pepper-covered version, but usually the kids have complained that we were buying grown-up bacon, so, we are saving that for our empty-nesting years. And, finally, our daily bacon is actually our local HEB Microwave Bacon, which I have mastered to perfection. The secret is to always use the wax papers included in the package … this keeps the bacon from getting too dry. I used to be a bacon snob and turn up my nose to microwave bacon, but I had to succumb during our carpool years, when I insisted on a full farmhand breakfast into all tummies before the carpool arrived.
Bacon Tips for Families Who Love Bacon
1) For full-fledged cooked-in-the-frying-pan bacon, cook one or two whole packages at once on the weekends, so you only have to clean the greasy stovetop one time. Then, save it in the refrigerator for breakfasts all week long. During the week, take out one or two pieces and pop in the microwave for a very short time, like 5 seconds. Voila! Fresh fried bacon on a Tuesday.
2) Cook a pile o’ bacon in a pan on your grill on a weekend morning. This keeps the smoky fried smell outside of your house, which although heavenly at the moment, may not be as desired later in the day. This method also creates a memorable early-morning bacon-on-the-campfire scent that reminds one of childhood camp-outs, or for our chidren, Saturday morning bacon fry-outs. I believe that there is nothing better than waking up to the scent of cooking bacon. Nothing! In fact, someday, when I hopefully approach those pearly gates, I just wonder if there will be a pan full of bacon sizzling on the celestial stove!
Tricks for Bacon Lovers On Weight Watchers
1) Record all incidents of bacon consumption. This alone will help cut back the ‘just one more piece’ syndrome.
2) If you use the ‘two packages on the weekend’ program mentioned above, try to hide your weekly stipend from yourself. This is harder than putting candy out of sight, as it does need to remain refrigerated. My tricks include: 1) dividing it into individual portions and pulling out only the number of portions needed, and 2) freezing most of it and tucking it under a bag of frozen spinach.
3) Try substituting Canadian bacon. My favorite is Nueske’s Canadian Bacon. I can eat two slices for a total of 2 points! That’s inexpensive in Weight Watcher terms. Not as free as fruit, but doesn’t break the point bank, either.
So that’s the skinny on my love of bacon. If you, too, love bacon, you might enjoy a site I found called the Royal Bacon Society. You can find everything bacon-centric there. I found recipes like The Perfect BLT and Bacon Caramels. At the Bacon Store link, you can find Bacon Socks, Bacon Bandaids, Bacon Watches and more. Who knew there were so many bacon aficionados in the world? I feel like I have found my people! Some of the cookbooks included on the site are Seduced by Bacon, Bacon Freak and one that I recently gave a friend, called I Love Bacon by Jayne Rockmill. I made sure that I hinted to my family that I didn’t actually own this cookbook, and that it would be a GREAT Christmas present. Just saying.
So, to start your week, I’ll leave you with a few choice items you, too, can purchase from the Royal Bacon Society website. Hope your week is sizzling in a good bacon kind of way.
(Full disclosure: Bacon is not included on the Weight Watcher’s Power Foods list, just so you know.)