Monday, October 29, 2012

Quinoa stuffed peppers

I am not going to lie.  I was so excited to make these....but I knew I would have to sell it to the hubs.  This is a meatless meal and even though he has lost over 60 lbs, he needs to have his meat at dinner time.  I thought about it long and hard all day long and the only thing I could think to do was to have him bring home a rotisserie chicken on his way home from work.  LOL!  I really liked it.  It has basil, cheese, tomatoes....what's not to love??

I found the recipe here.  The recipe makes one pepper, so plan accordingly.  

1 medium red or green bell pepper
1/3 cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup grated zucchini
1 Tbsp minced basil or parsley
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided
1 Tbsp pine nuts, divided
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Cut the top off of the bell pepper and remove the seeds and ribs, leaving the remaining pepper intact. Trim the bottom slightly, if necessary, so it will stand up straight.
3. Combine the quinoa, tomatoes, zucchini, basil or parsley, 1 tablespoon of the cheese, 2 teaspoons of the pine nuts, lemon juice, oil, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
4. Place the bell pepper in a baking dish and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Top the pepper with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cheese and 1 teaspoon of pine nuts and bake, uncovered, for 15 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and the nuts are golden.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dijon Salmon

Ok, it isn't much of a recipe because I stink at measurements when just throwing dinner together, but I
ll do the best I can.... I coated 4 pieces of salmon skin side down with dijon mustard (top and sides only), then pressed a coating of a mixture of about 3/4 cups of panko breadcrumbs and the zest of one lemon.  Then I put it in a pan coated with cooking spray on medium high heat for about 4 minutes.  I finished cooking it in a 425 degree oven for 5-7 minutes more, depending on thickness.  This is my new favorite salmon recipe.  Even the hubs enjoyed it and he isn't a huge salmon fan, but I make him eat it anyways.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

I love making dog treats for my dog, Lilly.  There are so many dog treats out there that don't even resemble food and who knows what is in them!  Here are some really easy dog treats and your dog will love them.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 large eggs
2/3 cup pumpkin purée, canned or fresh
3 tbsps peanut butter

Mix all of these ingredients together, roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, or you can even just cut them into bars.  Put them in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the desired doneness.  Lilly likes them crunchy so ours were in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Just check on them every now and again.  ENJOY!  Your dog will thank you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

I like a good challenge.  When I found this recipe on Pinterest boasting the entire loaf is only 500 calories, I knew I had to make it because even if I ate the entire thing, it was only 500 calories....only 500.  Now, I do enjoy the full fat version of this very much.  I make it every year, so I was curious to see how this tasted.  It is certainly a yummy addition to my 3pm snack with my coffee and I only eat 1 serving at a time at 100 calories each.  Delicious.

1-1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 whole egg
3 egg whites
1 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. Stevia Cup For Cup sweetener
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
Cream filling
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 T. all-purpose flour
2 egg whites
1 t. vanilla extract
1. For the Batter: With an electric mixer, beat the pumpkin, applesauce, egg, and egg whites on medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, Stevia, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly mix the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
2. For the cream cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg whites and flour until creamy and smooth.
3. Grease 2 8x4x2″ loaf pans. Divide half of the batter between the two pans. Pour half of the filling in one pan and the other half in the second pan and smooth with the back of a spoon. Top with the remaining batter.
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don’t overbake or your bread will be dry on the edges. Cool and remove from pans. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Cups

I love hot wings and I love to dip hot wings in blue cheese dressing.  I have been known to eat wings for my weekly cheat meal.  I just love the spiciness and the creaminess all together.  Yummmmm.

Here is a healthy alternative that you won't feel guilty about later.

-1 cup cooked quinoa
-1 large egg
-1/4 cup chopped onion
-1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store...I used the rest of the left over chicken to make chicken salad (greek yogurt and dijon mustard))
-1/4 cup buffalo sauce
-1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozarella cheese
-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
-1 minced garlic clove
-salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until combined.  Put a heaping Tablespoon in each cup of a well sprayed mini muffin tin.  Push the ingredients down in each muffin cup so it is compact.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Now, even better news is that I also used a blue cheese dressing that is only 35 calories for 2 tablespoons.  It is seriously so good and practically

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pizza Panini

If you haven't been to Roni Noone's Green Lite Bites site.  Go now.  I LOVE her site!

It is chilly here today and I am having a hard time staying warm and cozy.  It is just one of those days.  I saw Roni's panini picture and immediately got up and made one.   At only 163 calories, it was so ooey, gooey, delicious.

I got a multigrain 100 calorie English Muffin and spread 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce on it.  Then I sliced a Laughing Cow Light Babybel and put it on top and layered some of my favorite pizza toppings.  I used roasted bell peppers, a mushroom and some spinach leaves.  I tossed it in a nonstick pan and pressed down using the back of my spatula.  I did that for a minute or so and flipped it over to do the other side until the cheese in the middle was all melty.  You could also use a panini press or a George Forman grill, but I was way too lazy to pull out the special equipment.  ENJOY!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes

I am eating these with a cup of coffee as I type.  Holy cow, these are good.  Just out of the oven, warm, moist.....delicious!  The Apple Cider Doughnut Holes I made last week were a hit, so I decided to make these.  I love pumpkin flavored anything!

I adapted this recipe from here.  I changed it to make it a bit more figure friendly as my recipe made 33  doughnut holes at only 53 calories a piece.

For the Doughnuts:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup skim milk

For the coating:
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl.  Mix half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture until incorporated and then mix the rest.  Do not over-mix!  Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, place dough into each muffin tin.  Bake for about 10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Once they come out of the oven, brush the tops with the melted butter and then toss them in a ziploc bag with the cinnamon sugar mixture (about 6 at a time).  Place on a cookie sheet to cool.  Once cool, place them in an airtight container.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My pal, the foam roller

I am 37 years old.  Some days I feel like I am 60.  I work out hard almost every day so I can be the healthy version of me that I am now.  I like her.  I need to take care of her.  Sometimes, my workouts leave me sore for days (because I ate more than I should have and I'm trying to work it off...I'm still trying to find a balance, don't judge).  I was introduced to my good friend, foam roller and we have been close ever since that day.  It helps with recovery and flexibility.
My trainer, Lilly

I am not a fan of running.  I really WANT to be a fan of running, but I just don't enjoy it.  I do it though, every now and again to mix things up.  I even was pretty good for a while with having 5K Fridays, but school and work and the kids' sports started and I would just rather do some circuit training or kickboxing or strength training or bull fighting....OK, maybe not that.  I was just using my foam roller the other day to work out one of my calves because I decided to run a 5K after not running for over 6 weeks.  Smart decision?  Not so much.  It hurts when I use it, but I know in the long run, it is helping greatly

The foam roller helps with recovery and with flexibility.  It is also fun to do while you are sitting watching your evening tv show before you go to bed.  Hopefully, you aren't growling in pain too loudly as you use it.  It helps me wake up the next morning able to walk sometimes....I kid....maybe.

Here are some exercises you can do with your foam roller.  Check it out.  They are really very helpful.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Holes

I am a HUGE fan of doughnuts.  I eat them a lot less these days, but sometimes you just need to eat a doughnut.  Since it is fall and I seem to be enjoying all things apple, I knew I had to make them when I came across the recipe.  I found it here.  I didn't adapt the recipe in any way.  The only difference is that mine made 36 instead of her 24.

I even used the apple butter I made my previous post!  Yay ME!

Are these as bad as the fried version?  Heck no!  So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some doughnut goodness.  These puppies are only 62 calories a piece!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Crock Pot Apple Butter

We still had lots of apples left from our trip to the apple orchard, so I decided to make some apple butter.  Even better, I made apple butter in the crock pot ALL DAY LONG!!!  Can I just tell you how incredible my house smelled??? SO GOOD!

I found the recipe here. is an awesome place to visit, by the way.  I have found so many yummy things there!  Check it out!
Apple Butter

2.5 pounds (about 6 large) apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used a mixture of Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp and Red Delicious)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Toss the apples in your slow cooker. Cover the apples with the remaining ingredients and stir to coat.  

Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, stirring every so often.  Your mixture will turn thick and dark brown.

Uncover and puree with an emersion blender or zap in a food processor.  Cook on high with the lid off of the slow cooker for an hour or 2 more until at the desired consistency.  

It should make about 2 cups and have 16, 2 Tablespoon servings.  Calories: 88.5, fat: 0.3, 24.5 g carbs, fiber: 2.2 grams

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vegetarian Chili

I thought I would mix things up from our usual turkey chili and turned it vegetarian!

Cooking Spray
2 medium onions chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
6 medium garlic cloves minced
1 box frozen corn
6 portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped and diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/4 c. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1.5 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can tomato puree

Heat the cooking spray in a large pot or dutch oven. Over medium heat, add the onions, peppers and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini, mushrooms and frozen corn until cooked through.  Then add the chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne pepper, and coriander. Cook until the veggies are softened and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes or so. 

Add the beans, tomatoes with juice, and tomato puree. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer 1 hour, covered, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.

Every cup (my recipe makes 13 cups) is only 143 calories, 0.6 g fat, 6.0 g dietary fiber, 6.4 g sugars, and 7.5 g protein.