Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

I LOVE TO SNACK!  I have a snack around 3:00 every day.  I have seen a version of this recipe several places and love the whole idea of it.  I like to have a bowl of something crunchy and just eat and enjoy.  The fact that this snack has an extra spicy kick is an added bonus.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Rinse and towel dry a can of garbanzo beans and pour them onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle the beans with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Every 5 or 10 minutes I opened the oven and gave the sheet tray a little shake so that one side of the beans didn't scorch.  Once they were crispy and golden brown, I added some sea salt and some cajun seasoning.  Store your beans after they have cooled in an air tight container.  They won't be as crunchy the next day, but they will still be pretty darn tasty.

A little more than half a cup has 149 calories, .4 grams saturated fat, 5.8 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.  Talk about a healthy snack!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TVP Soft Tacos

In an effort to eat healthier, I replaced our usual beef tacos with tvp.  I put the cup of stock in a saucepan and put the flame on high.  Once it began boiling, I turned the heat off and added the tvp and stirred it up with 2/3 of a packet of taco seasoning (you can add more/less depending on your tastes).  Put the lid on it until you you are ready to assemble your tacos.

1 Cup of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
1 Cup (look away all you vegetarians) Chicken stock, you could also use vegetable stock :)
taco seasoning

We used our usual 60 calorie low carb wraps, fat free refried beans, light sour cream, the guacamole that was posted yesterday and salsa.  It is so yummy and filling.  We loved it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chunky Guacamole

I LOVE GUACAMOLE!  I could eat it with a spoon right out of the bowl....but I don't.....anymore.  :)

I am using this guacamole with the recipe that is posting tomorrow....can you guess what it is?

1 Avocado diced
1 Roma tomato-seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons diced red onion
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 jalapeno minced (the whole thing if you like things hot)
3 Tablespoons of minced cilantro
The juice of 1 lime

In a bowl, put the jalapeno, cilantro and Kosher salt.  With the back of a spoon, smash it all together.  then add the avocado, tomato, lime juice and red onion.  Mix it all together carefully as not to break up the big chunks.  ENJOY!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Couch to 5K

Do you want to start running, but aren't sure where to start?

I know a lot of people that have used this conditioning plan and have been very successful.  Honestly, when I first started working out again, I dismissed this program because it seemed too complicated since, with every workout, you had to run so fast for so many minutes and then walk for so many minutes.  That isn't so easy when you are running outdoors.

With this application (available on Android and iPhone) it tells you when to run and when to start walking.  You don't need to time anything.  You can even listen to your own playlists and the application will voiceover or beep when it is time to run or walk.  It takes the guesswork out of trying to time the walk/runs.

This program is only 3 days a week for 35 minutes a day for 8 weeks.  It is no secret that running burns a serious amount of calories and this gets you on your way to becoming a running machine!  I wish I had this application when I first started.  I feel like I started running the hard way and this app would have been so helpful.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quinoa, Tomato and Bean Salad

I needed a side dish for our turkey burgers last night, so I decided to make a fun salad.  I had all of the ingredients in my refrigerator/pantry, so I just threw it all together easily.  It was so yummy and SO GOOD FOR YOU!!
makes 4 large servings

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 can of white beans (you could use any beans you like.  I just had these on hand)
1 pint of tomatoes halved or quartered
20-25 basil leaves cut into ribbons
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves
the juice from half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Nutritional info: 171 calories a serving, .6 grams saturated fat, 6.1 grams dietary fiber, 1.6 grams sugar, 7.1 grams protein.

Guess what I am putting in a wrap tomorrow with the leftovers?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Avocado Egg Salad

To add to my collection of lunch wraps, I made this one today.  It makes 3 servings.

2 Whole hard boiled eggs
4 Hard boiled egg whites
1 avocado diced
3 Tablespoons of Greek Yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
1 Tablespoon of chopped chives
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

I put mine on some spinach inside my low carb wrap.  My calorie total came to 197 calories, 9 grams of fat, .8 grams saturated fat, 8.1 grams dietary fiber, 1.8 grams sugar, and 14.4 grams protein.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

These  were completely thrown together.  I will do my best to write down how I made them, but they were quite yummy.  It has been a while since we had chicken.  There isn't a reason for it, it just hasn't made it to the weekly menu lately.  My husband grilled up a pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs while I sauteed the following in cooking spray:

1 half an onion thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
about 15 baby carrots sliced into matchstick size
6 oz of cremini mushrooms sliced
1 Tablespoon of ginger minced
3 garlic cloves minced
sliced water chestnuts
1 tsp. sesame seeds
Romain Lettuce to wrap it all in

Once all was sauteed and the chicken was grilled and cubed and tossed in with the veggies, I poured some Kikkoman Lower Sodium Teriyaki Sauce in the pan and TA-DA!  I scooped up some of the mixture, put it on some Romain lettuce leaves and sprinkled some sesame seeds on top.  Delish!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trail mix

I am dragging today.  It is gloomy outside and I have a big deadline at the end of the week.  So for my afternoon snack I made some trail mix.  I used one of the kids' bowls so I wouldn't be tempted to make too much.  This is about half a cup of trail mix.  Be careful because it adds up quickly.  It gave me the boost I needed to get my work done.

Since I make my own Lara-type bars and breakfast cookies I have a lot of dried fruit and nuts on hand.  I just added a Tablespoon or so of dried blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and a pinch of mini chocolate chips.  It hit the spot!

Chocolate, chocolate chip muffins

Last Tuesday was National Chocolate Chip Day, so I searched to find something to make with my daughter so that we could celebrate as well and came across these!

Yummy chocolate goodness
Chocolate, Chocolate chip Muffins
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
3 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar or 1 1/2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
1 cup sugar substitute (like Splenda Granular) or 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Stevia
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (We used mini chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place liners in your muffin pan or spray them with cooking spray.

In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips until the batter is smooth.  Once smooth, stir in half of the chocolate chips.  I used a small ice cream scooper to fill the muffin tin.  Put the muffins in the oven for 10 minutes then take out and sprinkle and press the remaining chips into the tops, then return them to the oven for 2-4 more minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

The recipe made 34 mini muffins and they were 48 calories a piece.  The original recipe made 12 full sized muffins.  I may have had 3 mini muffins with my afternoon coffee that day.  One muffin had 2.1 grams of fat, 1.2 grams of dietary fiber, 2.1 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Monday, May 21, 2012

California Wrap

I love wraps for lunch.  I can't deny that.  This can also be adapted to make a sandwich  :)

I adapted this recipe slightly from here.

Makes 3 wraps:
1 avocado diced
1 tomato seeded and chopped
1 cup cucumber seeded and diced
juice of 1 lime
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons minced chives
Salt and pepper to taste

In my low carb wrap, I spread 1 Garden Vegetable Laughing Cow Cheese wedge, 1/4 cup raw spinach, 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts, and 1/3 of the avocado salad.  Enjoy!

Nutritional info:  208 calories, 2.8 grams saturated fat, 9.7 grams dietary fiber, 2.3 grams sugar and 10.8 grams protein.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower

Need a snack or a side dish with a kick?  Try this yummy roasted cauliflower.  I am the only one in my family that will eat cauliflower so it takes me a while to go through a head of it on my own, so I have to be creative.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut the florets off of 1/2 head of cauliflower and toss them in a bowl and add:

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Toss the cauliflower to coat and spread it out on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, tossing it about halfway through.  ENJOY!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mushroom Pizzas

This is a great snack or lunch or dinner or anytime at all!  I ate both of these bad boys and it was only 257 calories.  Sooooo good.  It is really simple.  Just get a portobello mushroom cap and scrape the gills and remove the stem.  Then add 1/4 cup of sauce and 1/4 cup of cheese.  I also added some roasted red peppers.  I put them into a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Delish!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Snack Time Apple Sandwich!

I made this yummy snack today and boy did it hit the spot!  I just sliced an apple and gave half of it to my daughter and made myself and apple sandwich with the other half and put 1 tablespoon of almond butter and some dried cherries.  It was very delicious and satisfying!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shrimp Scampi with Pesto Pasta (kind of)

Ever have one of those days when you are just so hungry?  Hubby and I both worked out a lot today and we were pretty busy with work so we just wanted to sit down and fill our bellies with some yummy goodness.  I made Shirataki Pesto with Shrimp Scampi and Sauteed Squash and Zucchini.  Not only was it filling, but it was super fast to make.  Our entire meal was 554 calories.

Pesto is normally fairly high in calories, but this one is only 157 calories per serving.  I adapted this from The Hungry Girl.

Pesto Pasta 
makes 2 servings (197 calories per serving)

2-8 oz bags of Shirataki Tofu Noodles
1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese

4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. pine nuts

1 tsp. olive oil

2 chopped garlic 
salt to taste

black pepper to taste

Toss all of these ingredients in a food processor and blend until it forms a paste. Cook the Shirataki noodles as written on the package (we each had 8 oz of noodles because we were was a whopping 40 calories.) Mix half of the pesto with 8 oz of noodles.

Shrimp Scampi (337 calories per serving)
1 lb of shrimp
1 T. Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. chopped fresh basil
1 T. Chopped fresh parsley
the juice of 1 lemon

Heat oil in a pan and cook the shrimp.  When you are about to flip the shrimp to the other side, add the minced garlic.  Once the shrimp is cooked, add the herbs and the lemon juice and remove from heat.  

Sauteed Squash and Zucchini (20 calories per serving)
1 medium zucchini 
1 medium squash
cooking spray

Spray the pan with cooking spray.  Using a vegetable peeler, cut the squash and zucchini into ribbons stopping once you get to the seeds.  Saute until cooked through on medium high heat.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Overnight Oatmeal

I've seen these on Pinterest and decided to make my own.  They are a great way to start the day and I find that I don't have a mid morning snack when I have one of them for breakfast.  They are quick because they are ready for you in the refrigerator in the morning and you can just grab it and go!

I used half pint jars to make them.

1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk or any milk you have
1 1/2 Teaspoons Chia Seeds (for fiber)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Strawberry Simply Fruit jam
fresh strawberry chunks (I used just 2 strawberries)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and fill the jar.  Put in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy a ready-made, quick, good for you breakfast in the morning.   I used fat free Fage yogurt and unsweetened almond milk and my oatmeal came in at about 211 calories, 4.7 grams of fat, 4.8 grams dietary fiber, 14.8 grams sugar, and 10.8 grams protein.

You can also add your own flavors.  Omit my strawberry Simply fruit and strawberries and add blueberries and maple syrup or strawberries and bananas.  The possibilities are endless.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes and Baked Onion Rings

My friend, Cindy over at Vegetarian Mamma, posted these Sloppy Joes the other day and we decided to give them a try.  They were so yummy!

With them we also had Crispy Creole Onion Rings with it.  It was a very good cheat for an old favorite.  Give them a try!  My whole dinner was less than 500 calories.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dog Treats!

Our girl, Lilly
Even the dog is eating better these days!  Ever wonder what is in those bones that you buy at the store that have "meat" running through the middle?  I do!  Why should your dog eat that when making delicious treats for her is so easy and a lot less expensive?  Our puppy doesn't eat people food, only the special dog food I buy her from the pet store, but I did make her some tasty treats that she LOVED!  Plus, everything that goes into these treats, I already had in my kitchen.

1/2 cup of peanut butter 
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flours and oats in one bowl.  Mix the peanut butter, honey, oil and broth in another bowl.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.  Roll them out on a floured surface about 1/4 inch thick.  If you don't have a cookie cutter, you can just slice them into bars (your dog won't mind).  Put them in the oven for about 16 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack.  You will make your dog's day.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Homemade Almond Butter with Sea Salt and Honey

2 cups of dry roasted almonds
3/4 tsp sea salt
3 T. honey

Toss the almonds in your food processor and turn on.  Let it go for a while.  Depending on your food processor, it could take a while.  Mine took about 10 minutes.  Don't give up.  Empty your dishwasher while you wait.  :)

Once it forms into a ball, you know you are getting close.  It will soon smooth out.  Once it does, you can then add the honey and salt.  Taste along the way and make adjustments as you go.  I am not going to mention how many of these spoons of Almond Butter I had during this recipe, but for you guys, I'll do it.  :)


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blueberry Coconut Pecan Breakfast Cookies

I ran out of my cranberry breakfast cookies so it was time to try a new recipe.  I like a little cookie variety in my life.  I came across these beautiful cookies and couldn't help myself.  You see, I have become a huge fan of dried blueberries lately.  I can't get enough of them.

These cookies are so tasty.  I LOVE the combination of the pecans, coconut, bananas and blueberries.  I found the recipe here.  It is yet another good cookie choice to have for my mid morning snack and with my second cup of coffee.

This recipe made 16 cookies....probably would have made 17, but I HAD to check for quality control of the unbaked cookie dough.  Each cookie has 164 calories, 10.9 grams of fat (6.1 saturated), 2.8 grams of fiber, 7.2 grams sugar, and 2.3 grams protein.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cauliflower crust pizza

I have seen many recipes for this that have traded the carbs of the crust for a crazy amount of fat for the cheese, so here is my version that is still VERY cheesy in the crust, but not as bad as some I have seen.

1 cup of riced cauliflower

3/4 reduced fat mozzarella

1 Tablespoon of flax seed meal in 3 Tablespoons of water (allow to sit for 10 minutes) OR you can use 1 whole egg

1 tsp dried oregano

2 minced garlic cloves

1. Preheat the oven 450 degrees
riced cauliflower

2. To rice cauliflower, remove the stems and leaves of cauliflower and chop the florets into pieces.  Add to a food processor and pulse just until it looks like rice.  Put the riced cauliflower in a bowl with 1/4 cup water and microwave for 6 minutes, stopping in the middle to stir.

3. Combine the cauliflower, cheese, flax mixture, oregano, and garlic in a bowl.  Stir thoroughly.  Place mixture on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and shape into a 9 inch circle.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Take out of oven when the crust is browned (more than my photo shows) and completely cooked through the middle.

4. I then added 1/2 cup of pizza sauce and some sauteed mushrooms, onions, red peppers, and a hand full of spinach.  I covered it with 1/3 cup of reduced fat cheese and put it under the broiler until the cheese was melted 3 or 4 minutes.

I ate the entire 420 calorie pizza.  It was very yummy.  Did it have the taste and texture of a bready pizza crust?  No, but it certainly satisfied my cheesy pizza craving.  You all know how much I love anything cheesy.  :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Risotto with Pesto and Peas

I just finished eating this.  No words.  So yummy.
(from Food Network Magazine, April 2012)

Serves: 4
Kosher salt
3 Leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup diced ham
1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls or diced fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup gated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup pesto (I find store bought pesto very high in fat and calories so I made my own)

2 cups fresh parsley leaves (about 1 bunch)
2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped scallions (about 2 bunches)
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
lemon zest of 1 lemon and juice of one lemon

To make the pesto, pulse all the ingredients in a food processor.  There will be extra pesto to use for another day...may I suggest as a part of a wrap for your lunch the next day.  :)

1. Make the broth: bring 6 cups of water and 1 tsp salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.  Adjust the heat to keep the broth at a gentle simmer.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add the wine and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, about 1 more minute.

3.  Add 2 cups of the hot leek broth to the rice; cook, stirring occasionally, until almost absorbed, about 6 minutes (adjust the heat to keep the risotto at a simmer).   Add 1 more cup of broth and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed, about 5 more minutes.  Add the leeks, peas and 1 more cup of broth and cook, stirring until almost absorbed, about 5 more minutes.  Taste the rice: If it is not fully cooked, add a little more broth and continue to cook, stirring, until al dente.

4.  Stir in the ham and remaining 1 Tablespoon butter.  Remove from the heat; stir in 2/3 cup pesto, the mozzarella and parmesan. Season with salt.  Divide among bowls and top with a little more pesto.

Calories: 465, fat 24 g (saturated 11g), carbohydrate 40g, fiber 6g, protein 22g

Monday, May 7, 2012

Calories in-Calories out

How do you know how many calories you should be eating each day?  If you Google BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) Calculator and put your info in, it will spit out how many calories you can consume per day.  That is how many calories you burn if you didn't move all day long.  Now, if you worked out and burned 500 calories, you can add that amount to what you got from the BMR calculator.  If you eat more calories than your BMR+your workout, you will gain weight.  If you consume fewer calories, you will lose weight.

If there is one thing I have learned from watching The Biggest Loser, it is that a pound equals 3500 calories.  So, if in one week, your total calorie intake is 3500 calories lower than your weekly caloric allowance, you will lose a pound.  If you eat 3500 calories more than your weekly caloric allowance, you will gain a pound.  Make sense?

It is all a game.  You can pretty much eat whatever you want.  If you want to eat that Cold Stone Milkshake in a Love It size for 1427 calories, you are going to need to find a Cold Stone Creamery about 4.5 miles from your house and run there and back at about 6 mph.  :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Flatbread pizza

I love pizza!   Probably because of all the yummy cheese and toppings, but I love it all the same.  As you all know my fondness for wraps, I figured for lunch I would make a pizza with them.  I tossed one of my flat out wraps right on the grate of my oven that was heating at 350 degrees.  Leave it there for 7 minutes. While waiting for the wrap to crisp up, I sauteed onions, mushrooms, a hand full of spinach and roasted red peppers in some cooking spray.

After my 7 minutes was up, I put 1/4 cup pizza sauce, my sauteed veggies and 1/2 cup of reduced fat mozzarella on my wrap and popped it back in the oven until the cheese was all melted (about 5 minutes).

Pull it out of the oven, slice it up and enjoy!  My pizza was only 280 calories and it was so delicious!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fruit and nut bar

OK, It is official.  I have an unhealthy obsession for fruit and nut bars.  A few weeks ago, I started making my own LARA bars and now these.  Hi, my name is Kim and I have an addiction.  Who can blame me though?  They are easy to make, easy to take with you anywhere and good for you!!  Plus, these have chocolate chips.  They are so good.   I love the variety of fruit (cranberries, dates and blueberries) and nuts (almonds and pecans) in these...and did I mention there was chocolate?  I already have them cut into 10 bars and put them into snack bags so I can just grab the bag and go.  It is so convenient, delicious and good for you!

After my 6 year old took a bite of these, she exclaimed, "My taste buds are going on a delicious journey."  Not sure where she comes up with some of the things that pop in her head, but she loves these too.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yummy Fish Tacos

This Fish Taco recipe came from the same wonderful person that wrote the salmon burger recipe.  I LOVED the salmon burgers so I just had to try the fish taco recipe.  Her pictures were a lot better than mine, but in my defense, I was in a hurry because I just wanted to eat them already.  First of all, the cilantro lime crema is so flavorful.  It was such a wonderful element to these tacos.  Every thing tasted so fresh because of the lime.  It was the perfect dinner.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

Who doesn't want to have cookies for breakfast?  Heck, I used to LOVE having some chocolate chip cookies with my coffee in the morning.  Now I make some better choices, though.  I adapted this recipe from madincrafts.

3 mashed bananas
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 T. cinnamon
1 packet of Stevia

Mix all the ingredients together and put on a Silpat on a cookie sheet in heaping spoons full.  My batch made 19 cookies and were 81 calories a piece, 3g fat, 1.7g dietary fiber, 4.7g sugar and 1.8g protein. Enjoy some cookies and coffee of your own!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Food of the week: WRAPS

One slice of bread can be up to 120 calories depending on the type you choose.  You can save yourself a lot of calories just by eating wraps.  I eat tons of wraps for lunch and I love them!  The round wraps I eat are only 60 calories and the oblong ones are 90 calories.  You really need to read the nutritional information on the wraps at the store because some of them are over 200 calories a piece. So, enjoy a wrap for your lunch!  Wiggity wiggity wack!

Homemade Nutella

I used to eat Nutella ALL the time, but had to cut back because it had 100 calories for just 1 tablespoon.  I used to have it on pretzels, toast, strawberries, English muffins with bananas, ice cream, just plain on a spoon and a multitude of other things.  When I came across this recipe for low cal, low sugar Nutella, I swear I heard the angels sing.  I ran to my neighborhood grocery store immediately looking for hazelnuts and couldn't find them.  Then I ran to another store and they didn't have them.  Finally, I drove a little further to Whole Foods and they had them!!!!  I made 2 cups of this chocolatey goodness and put it in a jar.  Mine worked out to 59 calories a tablespoon.....just 59 calories!!!!  So, eat up my friends.  Enjoy the sweet life without the guilt.  I know that I am happy to have my friend Nutella back in my life.  I may have started singing, "Reunited, and it feels so goooooooood."